Panamanian writer Rodriguez Velez dies

Jan. 11, 2009 at 7:58 PM

PANAMA CITY, Panama, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Noted Panamanian writer and journalist Mario Augusto Rodriguez Velez has died of a heart ailment at age 92, colleagues said Sunday.

The Panamanian Writers Association said Rodriguez Velez died Saturday at a Panama City hospital, the Latin American Herald Tribune reported.

A journalist, essayist, dramatist, poet and storyteller, Rodriguez Velez was the oldest active writer in the Central American nation, said his grandson, author Jose Luis Rodriguez Pitti.

He was awarded the Order of Omar Torrijos Herrera, Great Cross grade, by Panamanian President Martin Torrijos last year in recognition of his support for communications and Panamanian culture and history.

From 1932 to 1989 he worked in a variety of positions, from correspondent to chief editor and director at a number of newspapers and magazines, including Mundo Grafico, La Hora, Prensa Libre, El Dia, El Panama America, Prensa, Matutino and La Republica, Preludios, Urraca, Siete, Educacion, Loteria, Mas and Semana.

He also authored several story collections, starting with "Campo Adentro" in 1947.

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