Sandinista's last surviving founder dies

May 1, 2012 at 8:00 AM

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, May 1 (UPI) -- The last surviving founder of Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front has died at a military hospital, the government said.

Commander Tomas Borge Martinez, 81, was suffering from a lung condition that prompted doctors to place him in a medically induced coma, El Nuveo Diario reported Tuesday.

Borge served as a congressman and Nicaragua's ambassador to Peru and Ecuador.

He was among the nine Sandinista leaders who worked to overthrow the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in 1979 and elect leftist Daniel Ortega.

Ortega and the Sandinistas were voted out of power in 1990 but returned in November winning a landslide election.

A national period of mourning was expected to be announced.

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