Former President Miguel de la Madrid died early Sunday at a Mexico City hospital after a long battle with emphysema, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said. He was 77.
De la Madrid “dealt with much adversity during his administration” and his death is being “deeply” felt, Calderon said in a Twitter posting.
“I wish to express my deepest condolences to the De La Madrid family, especially to Enrique, an outstanding former member of this administration,” Calderon said.
Media outlets reported earlier in the day that the family had confirmed De la Madrid’s death at Mexico City’s Hospital Español, where he spent several months undergoing treatment for emphysema.
Several media outlets and Calderon reported in December that De la Madrid had died, but the family said stories about the former president’s death were just rumors.
The former president died around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, the family said.
De la Madrid who governed Mexico from 1982 to 1988, had to deal with several crises during his administration and was succeeded by Carlos Salinas de Gortari, who took office amid the political crisis sparked by the 1988 elections.
The former leader had to deal with popular discontent over the severe economic recession that hit Mexico in the early 1980s and outrage over his slow response to the 1985 Mexico City earthquake.
Condolence messages are flooding social networking sites in Mexico.
Governing National Action Party, or PAN, presidential candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota praised De la Madrid for having been a “promoter of culture.”
A viewing for the former president will be held in the library of his residence in Coyoacan, a residential area in southern Mexico City.