Prominent Economist, Politician Silva Ruete Dies

Javier Silva Ruete, 77, a well-regarded economist, former Economy Minister and director of the International Monetary Fund, died Sept. 21 from a heart attack. He was being treated for lung cancer. 

Silva Ruete was Economy Minister three times, during the military government of Francisco Morales Bermudez from 1975 to 1980, during the interim presidency of Valentin Paniagua from 2000 to 2001, and for the early part of Alejandro Toledo’s administration, who governed from 2001 to 2006.

Early in his career, in 1965 and at the age of 30, he served as the country’s youngest cabinet member in President Fernando Belaunde’s administration, in the Agriculture portfolio. The Belaunde government was ousted by a military coup three years later.

Silva Ruete was also a governor at the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, the Latin American Reserve Fund and the Andean Development Corporation.  He was an executive director at the International Monetary Fund until 2008.

“Peru has lost an extraordinary man,” said Monsignor Luis Bambaren, reported by state news agency Andina.

Silva Ruete was also a close friend of writer Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru’s Nobel laureate.

“I am really devastated,” said Vargas Llosa. “We were friends all our lives. We were class mates in fifth grade at the Salesiano school. He was a constant, intimate friend, with whom we shared thousands of adventures.”

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