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QUITO, Feb 17 — Former Ecuador president Gustavo Noboa, who dollarised the economy in 2000, has died at the age of 83, President Lenin Moreno announced yesterday.
“Ecuador is in mourning. From tomorrow I will declare a national mourning in memory of Gustavo Noboa,” said Moreno on Twitter.
Centrist Noboa, who was vice-president at the time, assumed the presidency in January 2000 when Jamil Mahuad was overthrown during a rebellion by soldiers and indigenous people.
Two months later, Ecuador adopted the dollar in a bid to resolve a banking crisis in which spiralling prices threatened to bring hyperinflation to the South American country.
Moreno described Noboa as a “beloved friend, respected democrat, moral developer of youth, patriot.”
Noboa died at the Jackson Memorial hospital in Miami where he underwent an operation on February 9 on a tumour on the brain.
Although the operation appeared to have gone well, he suffered a heart attack yesterday, local press reported.
A lawyer and university professor, he was a former governor of Guyas state, whose capital is Guayaquil, where he was born.
He spent two years as vice president before completing the final three years of Mahuad’s mandate and leaving the post in 2003. — AFP
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