Ramiro de Leon Carpio, 60; Former Guatemala Leader

From Associated Press

Former Guatemalan President Ramiro de Leon Carpio was found dead Tuesday in a Miami apartment, family members said. He was 60.

The cause of death was unknown, but a son, Jorge Eduardo de Leon, said his father may have suffered a diabetic coma. The son said his father had trouble regulating his blood sugar in recent days.

President Alfonso Portillo announced three days of mourning for De Leon Carpio. "He was a brave and simple man who identified with the fight for human rights, the right of law and liberty," the president said.

A former human rights ombudsman, De Leon Carpio was named president in 1993 when Jorge Serrano was forced to flee the country after a failed attempt to dismiss Congress and the Supreme Court.

De Leon Carpio eventually called general elections, then handed power to President Alvaro Arzu on Jan. 14, 1996.

De Leon Carpio also served as president of the Congress that drafted the country's 1984 constitution.

Last month, he announced that he was leaving the ruling Guatemalan Republican Front party because he was concerned about allegations of corruption in the government.

"I cannot continue supporting with my presence a style of government that I do not share," he said in making the announcement.

Born in Guatemala City, De Leon Carpio taught political and social sciences at Rafael Landivar University.

He served in the country's ministry of economy in the 1960s and '70s.

He was the co-founder of Guatemala's National Center Party in 1983 and served as secretary general of the party from 1983-86.

De Leon Carpio is survived by his wife, Eugenia de Leon, and three sons. Jorge Eduardo and Alejandro live in Guatemala, while Ramiro--who ran unsuccessfully for vice president in 1984 in Guatemala--resides in Houston. Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

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