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Former Colombian president Belisario Betancur dies at 95

AFP  |  Bogota 

Former Colombian Belisario Betancur, who steered his country through one of its most turbulent periods in the 1980s, died Friday aged 95, doctors announced.

led tributes for the former conservative leader, who was of the South American country from 1982 to 1986.

"I deeply regret the death of a great friend, a great Colombian, former president Belisario Betancur," Duque wrote in a message on

"His legacy in politics, in our history, in our culture, is an example for all future generations." Betancur was being treated in a clinic for a kidney condition. The clinic said in a statement that the ex-president passed away at 2:32 pm (2032 GMT).

Marta Lucia Ramirez, the country's vice president, had prematurely announced Betancur's death in a tweet the day before.

She corrected the mistake within minutes, but not before it was picked up by national media, leading to a flood of reactions from public figures.

The conservative Betancur was president when leftist M-19 guerrillas seized control of in November 1985 -- a dramatic foretaste of the violence that was to mark over the next decades.

He was the to summon the rebel groups that emerged in the 1960s to a dialogue with the government, assuring them he would work to achieve peace.

The main rebel group, the FARC, finally signed a peace agreement with the liberal government of more than 30 years later, in 2016.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 08 2018. 04:46 IST