Veteran Peruvian Politician Luis Alberto Sanchez Dies
LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Luis Alberto Sanchez, one of Latin America’s most respected intellectuals and a veteran politician, died Sunday. He was 93.
Sanchez, a former prize fighter, fencing champion and author of more than 100 books, died from a recurring kidney infection, said Luis Alva Castro, a leader of Sanchez’s Aprista party.
Sanchez entered a hospital Tuesday and returned to his home in the San Isidro district on Saturday.
Sanchez was respected for his political skills across the continent. He built up a wide measure of credibility at home and usually remained above the political fray.
Born October 12, 1900, Sanchez graduated from Lima’s San Marcos University, where he studied literature and law.
He later taught at San Marcos as well as the University of California at Berkley, colleges in Florida and Oklahoma, the Sorbonne in Paris, and universities in Madrid and Jerusalem.
Sanchez began writing for a newspaper in Peru in 1919. He went blind in the 1980s but still regularly wrote columns for newspapers and magazines and recorded radio and television commentaries.
He wrote dozens of historical novels and biographies as well as volumes of poetry, political and literary essays and a four-volume work on Latin American literature. One of his last works was a biography of Peruvian dictator Augusto Leguia, published in late 1993.
During a 60-year political career Sanchez was elected twice as member of a constituent assembly, twice as deputy and four times as senator.
He was imprisoned briefly by the military government of President Luis Sanchez Cerro in 1932 and spent most of the next 25 years in exile in the United States, France and Latin America.
Sanchez was a pioneer member of the left-leaning Aprista party, which formed in the 1920s but did not come to power until Alan Garcia won the 1985 presidential elections.
Sanchez served as vice president and prime minister under Garcia, whose mandate ended amidst spiraling hyperinflation and widespread allegations of corruption.
Sanchez, however, emerged unscathed due to the respect he built up with the public and among all mainstream political parties.
Aprista Party General Secretary Armando Villanueva said the party and San Marcos University would pay tribute to Sanchez in ceremonies Monday. The funeral would be held afterward, he said.
Villanueva said Sanchez’s body would not be taken to Congress for a homage ceremony because Sanchez followed the party line of refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the government of President Alberto Fujimori.
Fujimori shut the old Congress in April 1992 and held fresh congressional elections in November of the same year, when his backers gained control of the new Congress.