Passages in 2012: Notable Deaths in World Affairs
Jose Luis Alvarez Enparantza, in his 80s, one of the founders of the Basque separatist group ETA. Alvarez participated in ETA’s creation in 1958 and 20 years later helped form Herri Batasuna, the group’s political wing. Cause not given, Jan. 14.
Florence Green, 110, last known surviving veteran of World War I. Green was serving with the Women’s Royal Air Force as a waitress at an air base in England when the guns fell silent on Nov. 11, 1918. It was not until 2010 that she was officially recognized as a veteran after a researcher found her service record in Britain’s National Archives. Natural causes, Feb. 4.
Manuel Fraga Iribarne, 89, politician who founded Spain’s ruling conservative party and ignited divisive reactions as the last surviving minister from Gen. Francisco Franco’s right-wing regime. Heart failure, Jan. 15.
Fang Lizhi, 76, Chinese dissident whose speeches inspired student protesters in the 1980s. Fang burst into political prominence during the pro-democracy demonstrations of 1986-88 when he became China’s most outspoken proponent of democratic reform. China’s decision to allow him to leave the country in 1990 eliminated a major obstacle to bettering China-U.S. relations. No cause given, April 6.
Tomás Borge Martinez, 81, last surviving founder of the Sandinista guerrilla movement that overthrew Nicaragua’s U.S.-backed right-wing dictatorship in 1979 and replaced it with a leftist government also criticized for repression. Pneumonia, April 30.