QUITO – The former president of Ecuador (1992-1996) and former mayor of Quito, Sixto Duran Ballen, died on Tuesday at the age of 95, the Interior Ministry reported on its Twitter account.
Duran Ballen died peacefully in his sleep at his home, relatives of the ex-president told local media emphasizing that he was in the company of his family at the time.
The mayor of Quito, Mauricio Rodas, said on Twitter that the funeral honoring the former president and former mayor will be on Wednesday in the Palacio Municipal.
“Ecuador was plunged into mourning following the death of Sixto Duran Ballen, great patriot, former mayor of Quito and former President. Our condolences to his family,” the mayor tweeted.
The secretary general of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and former president of Colombia Ernesto Samper, the Ecuadorian presidential candidates for the 2017 elections, Guillermo Lasso of the political movement CREO and the Social Christian Party (PSC), Cynthia Viteri were among those who expressed their condolences.
Duran Ballen pursued a career in architecture and went to study at Columbia University in New York. On his return to Ecuador, he was in charge of the reconstruction of the city of Ambato, devastated in 1948 by an earthquake.
Between 1956-1960, he served as Minister of Public Works for Camilo Ponce Enriquez’s Government, and between 1970-1978 as Quito mayor. He was best known for his works that provided the city with modern ring roads and access tunnels.
He was also professor of Theory of Art at the Catholic University of Quito and director of the School of Architecture of the Central University of Ecuador.
In 1946, he co-founded the Social Christian Party and ran for presidency in 1979 but he was defeated by Jaime Roldos Aguilera.
In the elections in 1988, Sixto Duran Ballen ran as presidential candidate for the Social Christian Party (PSC) and was eliminated in the first round, after that he announced his withdrawal from politics, however he later returned.
He ran again for presidency in the 1992 elections and won in the second round.
Following the election victory of Abdala Bucaram in the July 7, 1996 elections, Duran left the presidency.