Fri. Apr 19th, 2019

The former Uruguayan Defense Minister dies, who had to resign in April due to the military crisis

The former Uruguayan Defense Minister dies, who had to resign in April due to the military crisis



Former Uruguayan Defense Minister Jorge Menéndez, who was forced to resign this month after it was revealed that the Army had omitted the statements of an ex-military offender during the dictatorship, died Thursday at the age of 68.

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The information was disseminated by the General Secretary of the Socialist Party (PS), Gonzalo Civila, through a tweet.

"Within minutes of starting to march (we are informed that our beloved compañero Jorge Menéndez died.) He went on fighting for democracy and against impunity, worthy and courageous, and in his memory we will not rest until there is truth and justice" the message of Civila.

According to local media, Menéndez died in the same place where he was born, Durazno (center), hospitalized in his home due to pancreatic and liver cancer.

Before delivering his letter of resignation, on April 1, Menéndez was on medical leave to treat his illness.

His cessation in the Defense portfolio came as a result of a publication of the local media Observer, which brought to light records of the Uruguayan Army Honor Court in which there were documents that included a confession of the ex-military José Gavazzo admitting that he threw in 1973 the body of Tupamaro Roberto Gomensoro to the Negro river (center) to make it disappear.

Despite these statements, the Court of Honor decided not to pass these confessions to the courts.

At the beginning of April the president of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, asked for the resignation of Menéndez -who was replaced in his position by José Bayardi- and the commander in chief of the Army, José González, and the chief of the Defense Staff, Alfredo Erramún, among other members of the Court of Honor.

In his letter of resignation, the former minister assured that he delivered to the Presidency of Uruguay the full report and that he recommended raising the issue to Justice, however, from the Presidency they affirmed the contrary.

Menéndez, who was also a PS leader, was appointed Minister of Defense in the second Tabaré Vázquez government (2015-2020) after the death of his predecessor, Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro.

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