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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ecuadoran Envoy Dies

The Ecuadoran ambassador to Russia, Juan Manuel Aguirre Vasconez, died of a heart attack in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, on Monday, the embassy announced Thursday in Moscow.

The ambassador, who was 62, was in Bukhara for the weekend with his wife, Josetta de Aguirre, and the Costa Rican ambassador and his wife when he was stricken.

Carlos Mantilla Hurtado, the commercial secretary at the Ecuadorian Embassy and now the acting ambassador, said the temperature in Bukhara was minus 10 degrees Celsius, and the ambassador suddenly collapsed when he got out of a car on Monday morning. He died in an Uzbek hospital shortly afterwards.

Mantilla said that Aguirre had been in ill health for some time since his arrival in Moscow with his wife, who is 65, on Aug. 11.

"The climate was very hard for him," said Mantilla, who added that the ambassador had spent a week in a Moscow hospital last month and suffered from diabetes.

Moscow would have been the last posting for Aguirre, who had worked in the Ecuadoran foreign service for 37 years. A native of Quito, Aguirre previously served as foreign secretary and as the Ecuadoran ambassador to Brazil, China, and El Salvador.

Aguirre and his wife had three sons and several grandchildren. Mantilla said the body was flown back to Ecuador on Thursday for the funeral in Quito.