MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Maria Esther Zuno, wife of former President Luis Echeverria and a woman known for championing women's rights and domestic social and cultural programs, has died, Mexican newspapers reported. She was 74.

Zuno died Saturday of complications from diabetes, the reports said Sunday. She would have celebrated her 75th birthday on Wednesday, the daily Universal said.

President Ernesto Zedillo and former President Jose Lopez Portillo were among dignitaries paying their respects Saturday at the Echeverrias' home, where the former first lady's body lay in state.

Zuno was married for 54 years to Echeverria, who governed Mexico from 1970 to 1976. The two met at the home of famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and were married in January 1945. They had eight children.

In addition to her friendship with Rivera, Zuno had close ties to well-known Mexican artists David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco and Isidro Fabela. She also was friends with the late Chilean President Salvador Allende, according to Universal.

Among Zuno's priorities as first lady were support of domestic social programs and equal rights for women. She also promoted Mexican cultural traditions, conducting goodwill tours in other countries to share traditional dance, dress, music and art.

In addition to her husband, Zuno is survived by seven of her eight children, and 19 grandchildren.