World

Pérez's Body Going Back to Venezuela

  • during a funeral mass for the former Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez at the St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Miami, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. Perez died Saturday at age 88. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

    during a funeral mass for the former Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez at the St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Miami, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. Perez died Saturday at age 88. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

  • during a funeral mass for the former Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez at the St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Miami, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. Perez died Saturday at age 88. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

    during a funeral mass for the former Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez at the St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Miami, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. Perez died Saturday at age 88. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Former Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez, whose burial was put on hold because of a family dispute, will be buried in the country he once ran.

His longtime mistress, Cecilia Matos, said Wednesday she will not contest his estranged wife's desire to bury his remains in his native country. Matos had vowed not to bring his remains back to Venezuela until President Hugo Chavez, who led a failed 1992 coup against him, leaves office.

But now she says returning him to Venezuela would be a way to pay tribute to him. Matos is frequently identified as Pérez's current wife, but it is not clear if they were married. 

On Tuesday, a Miami-Dade judge ordered a funeral home not to bury Pérez as planned Wednesday in South Florida.

Wife Blanca Rodriguez de Pérez and his family in Venezuela had argued Pérez should be buried in his native country next to his daughter Thais, who died 15 years ago.

Pérez was a popular president who presided over an oil boom in the 1970s. He was later impeached during a second term in office and spent two years under house arrest.

He died Saturday in Miami. He was 88.

Based on reporting from The Associated Press.

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