RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The former president of Nicaragua Enrique Bolaños Geyer (2002-2007) died at age 93, after suffering a “health breakdown”, relatives informed on Tuesday.
“With deep sorrow, the family of engineer Enrique Bolaños Geyer, former president of the Republic of Nicaragua, communicates the sad death of their beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, which occurred at five past eleven in the evening of yesterday, June 14 (05.05 GMT Tuesday),” his relatives said on the Facebook account of the virtual library that bears the name of the former president.
The reasons for the death of the former president, whose health had been “broken” since August 2020, were not disclosed. Two weeks ago, Bolaños had received the Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19.
The relatives of the former president expressed their interest that the funeral be held discreetly in the municipality of Nindirí, 21 kilometers southeast of Managua, due to the pandemic.
“Due to the current conditions, we thank you for accompanying us from your homes with a prayer to the Creator for his eternal rest. We know that in other times you would accompany us to say your last goodbye, but he, from his broken health, always called for prudence and care,” they said.
“Let us be inspired by Don Enrique’s legacy, the legacy of the good Nicaraguans who thought more of the Homeland than of themselves. It is the best tribute we can pay him,” they added.
Bolaños’ government, which was characterized by cleaning up Nicaragua’s economy and fighting corruption from his predecessor, President Arnoldo Alemán (1997-2002), was a critic of current President Daniel Ortega.
During the outbreak of the 2018 socio-political crisis, Bolaños suggested Ortega should resign from the Presidency, and in 2020 criticized the former Sandinista guerrilla for his management of the pandemic, with which he disagreed.
Bolaños was a business leader who ventured into politics when he defended the business union under Ortega’s first term (1979-1990), for which he suffered imprisonment and expropriations.
His activism from the sidewalk of the business led him to be vice-president between 1997 and 2000, in the president Alemán era, from where he promoted the modernization of the public sector and the separation of the powers of the State.
Known for his transparency, in 2007, Bolaños refused to receive the checks that corresponded to him or being a former president, as he was a deputy in the National Assembly.
As president, he excelled in economic issues, signing the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States (currently DR-Cafta), achieving the forgiveness of 80% of the country’s foreign debt, closing with positive economic growth levels, controlling the state debt, and giving stability to the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS), whose financial problems under the Ortega administration caused the 2018 crisis.
However, he never had any qualms about declaring as his most precious legacy the Enrique Bolaños Geyer Virtual Library, considered by some as the most complete library in Nicaragua.