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Death of two Nicaraguan stars | Jul 1, 2009

Róger Solórzano Canales

Alexis Argüello, mayor of the city of Managua and a national sporting glory, died today, Wednesday, July 1, at his home, situated in the capital city. Eight days earlier, on June 23, the renowned Nicaraguan songwriter Camilo Zapata died as well.

Alexis Argüello's death (1952-2009) has been a very publicized topic. Even though, a formal opinion of his autopsy is still awaiting, it was unofficially said that the former athlete and current public officer could have shot himself on his chest during the night. At noon, a massive funeral procession joined his coffin around the city of Managua. The authorities placed the body at the National Palace, so that Nicaraguans could see it during two days.

A great number of national sports journalists have considered Alexis the highest glory of the Nicaraguan sport. During his international career as a boxer, he was one of the first pugilists to win titles in three different categories; an achievement that gave him a place in the national and international hall of fame. A lot of years after he retired of boxing he turned into the mayor of the city of Managua (2008), until his death.

Camilo Zapata (1917-2009) would turn 92 years old this year but died of natural causes at his home during the afternoon. Due to his artistic quality, a great number of local artists honored him with a three day funeral. On June 27, his coffin was moved to Ruben Dario National Theater, where a bigger tribute was held in his honor. Then, his body was moved to a cemetery on the outskirts of the city.

Zapata composed various songs that are part of the renowned Nicaraguan cultural repertoire, with songs like "Caballito chontaleño", "el solar de Monimbó" or "Minga Rosa Pineda". Nevertheless, the greatest contribution was the creation of the "son nica".