October 9, 2017 / 6:10 PM / 7 months ago

Former Salvadoran president Calderon dies at 69

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - Former Salvadoran President Armando Calderon, who helped oversee the Central American country’s transition from a bloody civil war to peace in the 1990s, has died at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer, his family said on Monday.

Former Salvadorean President Armando Calderon Sol and his wife Elizabeth wave to supporters after new Salvadorean President Francisco Flores, was sworn-in during inaugural ceremonies in San Salvador June 1. Flores, 39, brings in a cabinet where the average age is 43 and whose members are businessmen, highly educated tecnocrats and members of his Republican National Alliance. LG/ZDC - RP1DRIILXQAA

Calderon, who was president from 1994 to 1999 as the reconstruction of the divided country took hold, died around midnight in a hospital in Houston where he was admitted in critical condition with an undisclosed form of cancer.

El Salvador’s 1980-1992 civil war, which pitted a U.S.-backed right-wing government against the leftist guerilla Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), claimed some 75,000 lives and left around another 8,000 people missing.

President of the Republic of El Salvador Armando Calderon addresses the 53rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 24. MS/ELD - RP1DRIGWLWAB

A founder of the powerful, right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena), Calderon as president ushered in a string of business-friendly economic reforms including a privatisation of the telecoms sector and the pension system.

El Salvador’s Supreme Court of Justice in 2016 ordered an investigation into Calderon’s fortune on suspicion of illicit enrichment. The former president, who was also mayor of San Salvador between 1988 and 1994, rejected the accusations.

Reporting by Nelson Renteria and Enrique Andres Pretel; Editing by David Gregorio

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