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Former President of El Salvador Francisco Flores Dead at 56

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Former Salvadoran President Francisco Flores died Saturday in a private hospital in the capital after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, his party said.

Flores, 56, had been in coma since undergoing emergency surgery.

Francisco Flores
In this Jan. 13, 2004 file photo, former President of El Salvador Francisco Flores makes an announcement at the Casa Presidencial in San Salvador, El Salvador. AP

Flores, who led El Salvador from 1999 to 2004, was under house arrest on charges of embezzlement and illegal enrichment.

He was accused of diverting more than $15 million, which had been donated by Taiwan to help the victims of earthquakes in 2001. A court said that $10 million of that went to the party that carried Flores to power and the remainder to him.

The conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance, better known as ARENA, which carried Flores to the presidency, lamented his death and said it would support his family. Current Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez also offered his condolences through his official Twitter account.

Doctors last week had said that Flores had suffered irreversible neurological damage and that his chances of survival were minimal.

Flores had suffered from thrombosis, the clotting of blood in veins. He was hospitalized for that in October 2014, and again Dec. 22, 2015, for an internal hemorrhage.

Loyda Robles, one of the plaintiff lawyers against Flores, said last week that his death would end the criminal prosecution, but that the civil litigation would continue.