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Mario Roberto Morales, member of the Guatemalan Academy of Language.
Mario Roberto Morales was a member of the Guatemalan Academy of Language. Photo: Mario Roberto Morales.

Manuel Roberto Morales, writer and journalist, dies of COVID

Guatemalan writer and journalist, Mario Robert Morales, died on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 74 from complications generated by COVID-19.

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The renowned writer and journalist Mario Roberto Morales, winner of Guatemala's National Literature Award in 2007, died Thursday, Sept. 16 at age 74 from health complications caused by COVID-19, his family said.

Morales had been hospitalized in a private hospital for a week, but when complications hit he was transferred to the National Specialties Hospital of Villa Nueva, where he lost the fight against COVID-19.

Through a press release, his family thanked the people who have shown their affection, support and solidarity during such a delicate and difficult moment.

"Mario Roberto Morales had a life full of literature, academia, struggle, criticism and love for his family, friends and the University of San Carlos," reads the family's press release.

Morales received an honorary doctorate and was declared professor emeritus at the University of San Carlos. He is recognized for writing the novels Jinetes en el cielo, Obraje, Rostro de la tierra, corazón del cielo, Los que se fueron por la libre, El ángel de la retaguardia, Señores bajo los árboles, El esplendor de la pirámide, Los demonios salvajes.

In addition to being a journalist and novelist, he is recognized for writing poetry and essays. He was awarded the Central American and Caribbean Novel Prize in 1971, the Unique Central American Novel Prize of the General Directorate of Culture and Fine Arts of Guatemala and the Latin American Novel Prize in Costa Rica, in 1986.

The Guatemalan was also a militant in the revolutionary ranks between 1966 and 1991. In 1982, when the internal conflict between the guerrillas and the army in urban areas worsened, he was forced to leave the country for 10 years, a period that saw him seek exile in Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

 "In the face of this we need to wield our own spiritual and moral fortitude so that lucidity prevails over madness and we do the only thing possible to do: take good care of ourselves and have a good time."

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