Renowned Mexican author and influential political commentator Carlos Fuentes died of unknown causes yesterday in Mexico City. Fuentes was the author of many literary works and had continued writing up to his death. His most notable novels include La región más transparente (Where the Air is Clear), La muerte de Artemio Cruz (The Death of Artemio Cruz), Terra Nostra, and Las buenas conciencias (The Good Conscience). Fuentes was often cited as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, but never won it.
Although controversial at times, Carlos Fuentes is considered one of three great contemporary Latin American writers, alongside Colombia’s Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Peru’s Mario Vargas Llosa. Political leaders from all around the world have expressed their condolences, including the president of his home country. Mexican President Felipe Calderón noted on Twitter that he “deeply laments the death of the beloved and admired Carlos Fuentes, a writer and universal Mexican.”
Fuentes was an influential and important figure in Latin American politics. He discussed political issues like corruption, censorship, immigration, and was an outspoken supporter of Fidel Castro’s Cuba. The prominent writer also emphasized that “literature and education were essential” to try to eliminate corruption. He often stated the vital roles artists—like himself—played to advance societies and “to point out what needs to be heard.”