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Argentina mourns first post-junta president

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Argentina mourns first post-junta president

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Argentina is mourning former president Raul Alfonsin, who led the country back to democracy in the 1980s after years of brutal military rule. People gathered outside his home in Buenos Aires to pay tribute to the 82-year-old who had been suffering from lung cancer. Until his death, Alfonsin remained an influential figure in Argentinian politics.

He was elected president in 1983 after the military regime collapsed following defeat in the Falklands War against Britain. His time in office restored respectability to a nation regarded as a pariah after decades of coups and often thuggish rule. A prominent opponent of the junta which took power in Argentina in 1976, Alfonsin sought justice for the thousands who died or disappeared. He won international admiration for putting on trial and jailing former military leaders And he created a commission to record human rights abuses under the so-called “Dirty War” dictatorship. Alfonsin lost elections in 1989 after failing to stave off a deep economic crisis. After his death was announced, Argentina declared three days of national mourning.