Source Pravda.Ru

Former Honduran President Jose Azcona dies at 78

Former President Jose Azcona Hoyo was buried Tuesday before some 3,000 mourners, a day after he died of a heart attack. He was 78.

Roman Catholic Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez said Mass for Azcona, who was president from 1986 to 1990 as the neighboring Central American nations of Nicaragua and El Salvador were enveloped in civil wars.

As part of peace efforts, Azcona oversaw the start of the dismantling of bases for some 16,000 U.S.-backed Nicaraguan rebels, whose presence Honduras had once denied.

Azcona was born to a Spanish immigrant couple in the northern city of La Ceiba in 1927 and he was educated in Honduras and Mexico as a civil engineer.

In 1981, Azcona was a member of the Constituent Assembly that assumed civilian power in Honduras after almost 20 years of military rule.

He was elected to congress for the Liberal Party in 1982, then was named minister of public works, stepping down in 1984 over differences with President Roberto Suazo Cordova.

Azcona gained popularity with his criticism of Suazo's attempts to extend the presidential term from four to six years. He then followed Suazo in the presidency.

After leaving the presidency, he ran a construction company. He is survived by his wife Miriam Bockoc and three children, AP reports.

A. A.