Argentine poet, political critic Gelman dies in Mexico

MEXICO CITY Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:53pm EST

Argentine poet Juan Gelman attends a news conference in the northern city of Monterrey in this file July 18, 2008 photo. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

Argentine poet Juan Gelman attends a news conference in the northern city of Monterrey in this file July 18, 2008 photo.

Credit: Reuters/Tomas Bravo

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Juan Gelman, the celebrated Argentine poet and fierce critic of the South American nation's "dirty war" against leftists, died Tuesday in Mexico City, Mexico's national art council said.

Gelman, who was born in Buenos Aires but lived in the Mexican capital for more than 20 years, died after being hospitalized, the council said in a statement.

Local media reported that he suffered from myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a group of bone marrow and blood diseases.

The poet and political analyst's writings won some of the highest awards given to Spanish writers, including the lifetime achievement Miguel de Cervantes Prize.

Gelman fought against impunity and injustices under Argentina's military junta, which "disappeared" thousands of suspected leftists from 1976 to 1983. One of Gelman's own sons was kidnapped and murdered during the so-called "dirty war."

(Reporting by Miguel Gutierrez; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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