Source Pravda.Ru

Former Bolivian President is dead at 80

Luis Adolfo Siles, who became Bolivia's president in 1969 replacing a leader killed in a helicopter crash, and then was toppled in a military coup, died Wednesday of a heart attack, a family spokesman reported. He was 80.

Siles, a founder and leader of Bolivia's Social Democratic party, was vice president under President Gen. Rene Barrientos, who was killed in a helicopter crash in 1969.

Siles took over the presidency, but was toppled nine months later in a military coup led by Gen. Alfredo Ovando, who opened a 16-year period of coups and military dictatorships in Bolivia.

Siles was sent into exile in neighboring Chile, but returned home a few months later, becoming a devoted human rights activist and playing a key role in the pro-democracy efforts that succeeded in 1982 with the restoration of an elected government.

The son and brother of presidents, Siles was a lawyer, had a degree in philosophy, and was also a university professor. A.M.