MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan journalist Alberto Pepe Leira, associated with Spain’s international news agency Efe for more than three decades, died Friday in Montevideo, family members said.
Pepe Leira, who trained to be a lawyer, retired from journalism last year because of an incurable illness from which he never recovered.
Throughout his long career in journalism, Leira was Agencia Efe’s special correspondent at several regional summits and covered the visit of Pope John Paul II to Uruguay during the pontiff’s 1988 tour of South America.
But it was in the field of sports that his byline gained international fame.
As Efe’s special correspondent he covered the 1982, 1985, 1990, and 1994 soccer World Cups, as well as several Copa America tournaments and the Pan American Games.
He also worked for several years on the copy desk of the Montevideo daily El Pais, where he started as a young man upon leaving his native Paysandu in northern Uruguay, and for which he edited the rural news. EFE