Latin American leaders mourn Kofi Annan’s death

SANTIAGO – Governments and heads of the states across Latin America have mourned the death of former United Nations secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kofi Annan.

Annan, who has died aged 80 after a short illness, was a widely respected diplomat, holding the position of U.N. secretary-general from 1997 to 2006. He was also chair of The Elders, an independent group of world leaders founded by Nelson Mandela that sought peace and the respect of human rights around the globe.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan dies at 80

Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera took to Twitter to pay rich tribute to the late Kofi Annan.

“With the death of former UN secretary General Kofi Annan, the world loses a tireless fighter for peace and justice. My heartfelt condolences to your family and friends. Our duty is to keep your testimony and teachings alive,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.

Former Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet also tweeted her sympathies, stating “Today the world lost a promoter of peace and dialogue. We will miss his leadership and human quality.”

In an official communication, Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture said that “In the course of his years at the United Nations and after his retirement, Kofi Annan demonstrated his profound commitment to peace and his tireless humanitarian calling.”

Bolivian President Evo Morales on Twitter said, “We are very sad for the passing of Kofi Annan …Our condolences to his family.”

The President said Bolivian will always remember with gratitude Annan’s acknowledgement of Bolivia’s demand for sea access, and his efforts to further the dialogue with Chile.

Similarly, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, due to leave office November 30, said via Twitter that Annan was a “Great leader and extraordinary human being. His contributions to peace and human rights are his legacy.”

Annan passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning in a hospital in Bern, Switzerland surrounded by his wife and three children.