Thursday, February 27, 2020

ARGENTINA | 23-06-2018 11:02

Dante Caputo dies aged 74

Last Wednesday he ended his battle against cancer.

Dante Caputo, Raúl Alfonsín’s foreign minister during most of his 1983-9 presidential term, died last Wednesday in his 75th year after a long battle against cancer. Caputo’s biggest success was the 1984 Beagle Channel treaty with Chile, ending six years of on-and-off tension over Patagonian demarcation lines – the Radical not only negotiated the treaty but defended it forcefully in debates preceding a public referendum, contributing strongly to the 81 percent positive vote. He was also a co-founder of the Merccosur trade bloc in 1985.

Caputo made an early exit from the ministry in order to preside over the United Nations General Assembly in 1988, remaining active in international peacce-keeping for years afterwards. Without being one of the main architects, he played an important role in forming the Alliance between the Radicals and Frente Grande ex -Peronists which took Fernando de la Rúa to the presidency in 1999 (despite leaving the Radical party in the previous year). A distinguished scholar with studies in Boston and Paris as well as Buenos Aires (El Salvador), he first came to Alfonsín’s attention in 1982 when he was one of the few voices opposing the South Atlantic war with Britain.

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