Thousands mourn death of former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner
Thousands of people filled the Plaza de Mayo as they lined up to pay their respects to former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, whose body lay in state at the presidential palace Thursday, one day after his death from an apparent heart attack.
Some mourners prayed, others sang or held up the country’s flag. Some became visibly emotional and some shouted their support for Kirchner’s widow, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Fernandez, who was consoled by her children, Florencia and Maximo, was seen on television broadcasts caressing her husband’s flag-draped coffin or resting her hands upon it.
Latin American leaders in attendance included Presidents Evo Morales (Bolivia), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Jose Mujica (Uruguay), Sebastian Pinera (Chile), Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia) and Hugo Chavez (Venezuela). Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, also was expected to attend services.
Kirchner, who served as president from 2003 to 2007, was a congressman and leader of his wife’s Justicialist party when he died. He was 60.
-- Andres C. D’Alessandro in Buenos Aires
Top photo: Supporters of former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner gather at the Plaza de Mayo in front of the presidential palace during a memorial service in Buenos Aires on Thursday. Kirchner died of an apparent heart attack Wednesday. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency
Bottom photo: In this picture released by Argentina's presidency, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, left, stands next to the coffin of her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, at the government palace in Buenos Aires on Thursday. Credit: Associated Press