The Americas

Former Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle dies at 88

  • FILE - In this March 21, 2002 file photo, Uruguay's former President Jorge Batlle arrives for the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico. Batlle, one of Uruguay’s most important politicians of the 20th century, has died, according to Hospital officials in Uruguay. (AP Photo/Tomas Munita, File)

    FILE - In this March 21, 2002 file photo, Uruguay's former President Jorge Batlle arrives for the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico. Batlle, one of Uruguay’s most important politicians of the 20th century, has died, according to Hospital officials in Uruguay. (AP Photo/Tomas Munita, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 12, 2003, file photo, Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle, speaks during a meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, at the Itamaraty palace, in Brasilia, Brazil. Batlle, one of Uruguay’s most important politicians of the 20th century, has died, according to Hospital officials. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

    FILE - In this May 12, 2003, file photo, Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle, speaks during a meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, at the Itamaraty palace, in Brasilia, Brazil. Batlle, one of Uruguay’s most important politicians of the 20th century, has died, according to Hospital officials. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)  (The Associated Press)

Hospital officials in Uruguay say that former President Jorge Batlle, one of the country's most important politicians of the 20th century, has died at age 88.

Batlle underwent surgery to stop a cerebral hemorrhage after he fainted and struck his head earlier this month during an event for his Colorado Party. But the Sanatorio Americano hospital where he was interned said he never fully recovered and announced his death late Monday.

Batlle, who was known as extroverted, even politically incorrect at times, remained active in politics until the end.

He served as president from 2000-2005. He had promised that his presidency would be "fun," but it was overshadowed by a deep economic depression.