The mortal remains of former President Carlos Saúl Menem , who died yesterday at the age of 90, have been veiled since last night in the Blue Room of the National Congress, where Alberto Fernández, Cristina Kirchner and dozens of former officials and historical leaders of Peronism paraded .
The burning chapel remained open throughout the morning for the family and those close to the former president who approached the Legislative Palace to say goodbye to Menem, who ruled Argentina for ten years.
The funeral will last until 3 p.m., when his remains are transferred to the Islamic Cemetery of La Tablada.
The public access doors, by decision of the family, were reopened this morning, minutes after 7. The coffin containing the body of the ex-president is escorted by the Regiment of Grenadiers on Horseback, which honors him for his status as former President of the Nation.
Those who approach Congress to say their last goodbye to the former president – senator for La Rioja – must enter through the main esplanade of the building, located on the corner of Entre Ríos and Rivadavia avenues. After 9:30, few supporters of the former president, some of them were dressed in Argentine flags, remained in the surroundings of the Congress to say goodbye to Menem. The City Police, in charge of the security operation on the perimeter of the building, cut off traffic on Entre Ríos Avenue, between Hipólito Yrigoyen and Rivadavia.
Last night, despite the constant rain, hundreds of people lined up to enter the wake and pass in front of the coffin, behind a cordon arranged in the Blue Room.
Menem’s coffin is covered by Argentine flags and a River Plate shirt.
Zulemita Menem confirmed yesterday that the ex-president will be buried today in the Islamic cemetery of La Tablada, where the remains of his son Carlos Menem Jr, who died on March 15, 1995 in an accident, are found. “He is going to rest in the Islamic cemetery, with my brother, even though he professed the Catholic religion, but he will be with my brother,” said Zulemita. The cemetery is located in San Justo, La Matanza district.
Menem’s funeral has been held since last night in Congress, under the supervision of Cristina Kirchner . The vice president was in charge of receiving the funeral procession in the Senate, where she accompanied the former president’s daughter, Zulemita Menem , his ex-wife, Zulema Yoma , his brother, Eduardo, and their grandchildren.
The ex-president stayed a few minutes in the Blue Room: she offered her condolences to the family and left. The details of the organization were left in the hands of the staff of the Senate’s general direction of ceremonial and protocol.
The former president’s family decided that Congress should remain closed to the press and that the wake be broadcast on the Senado TV signal.
After 9 pm, President Alberto Fernández arrived at the Legislative Palace to say goodbye to Menem, who died yesterday at the Los Arcos Sanatorium in Palermo. Fernández learned the news after receiving a message from Zulemita, while he was resting at the Olivos residence.
The head of state entered the Blue Room accompanied by the first lady, Fabiola Yáñez , his spokesperson, Juan Pablo Biondi , and the secretary general of the Presidency, Julio Vitobello . There he met Daniel Scioli and Eduardo Duhalde , among other leaders who went through the Menem governments.
Like Cristina Kirchner, the president stayed a few minutes in the burning chapel and left after offering his condolences to the former president’s relatives.
The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Sergio Massa; the auditor Miguel Ángel Pichetto and former Menem officials Carlos Corach, Miguel Ángel Toma and León Carlos Arslanian, among others.
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