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Ex-Chilean president Patricio Aylwin dies at 97

Former Chilean President Patricio Aylwin addresses the Organization of American States in Washington on March 6. [Aylwin spoke of his administration as the peoples' will to overthrow the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, who is to step down as commander-in-chief of the Chilean armed forces on March 10 to become a senator.] Panel discussions by Latin American leaders were organized by the OAS to mark the 50th anniversary of its founding.

London: Former Chilean president Patricio Aylwin, who played an instrumental role in restoring democracy in his country following 17 years of dictatorship, has passed away at the age of 97.

Aylwin became the president in 1990 and received widespread acclaim for combining booming economic growth with the establishment of democracy during his four-year tenure, the Guardian reported.

Michelle Bachelet, the current president, paid rich tribute to Aylwin and described the former president as a great statesman who made possible a democratic country once he assumed the presidency of the republic.

Aylwin, a lawyer by profession, was also known for constituting a commission which investigated human rights violations committed under his predecessor and tyrant General Augusto Pinochet.

He was married to Leonor Oyarzún and had five children. (ANI)