Chilean writer Luis Sepulveda dies of coronavirus

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 Photo of Luis Sepulveda in Patagonia, from the cover of the book Últimas noticias del surPhoto of Luis Sepulveda in Patagonia, from the cover of the book Últimas noticias del sur

 
Luis Sepulveda, the Chilean writer and author of more than 30 books – among them classics such as The Old Man Who Reads Love Stories and Patagonia Express – passed away today after doing battle with the coronavirus for seven weeks at a hospital in Spain.
 
Reaction and tributes over the death of Sepulveda, who was 70 years-old, have come from all over the world.
 
A strong supporter of environmental causes, he was active in fights against plans for the HidroAysen dams and Alumysa aluminum project in Chilean Patagonia and worked with Greenpeace during the 1980s. His book The World at the End of the World is about his experience aboard the Rainbow Warrior ship of Greenpeace.
 
Greenpeace said in a statement that Sepulveda was “always a person very committed to defending the environment. His focus was always on the protection of the marine environment, and fighting to defend it, issues he was passionate about. He even wrote several books about whales and his experiences aboard our ships."
 
 
Former Chile President Michelle Bachelet wrote in her Twitter account: “Only those who dare may fly' - Luis Sepúlveda is a terrible loss for the whole world. His passing is yet another reminder of the tragedy of this virus that claims the lives of loved ones each and every day and spares no one.”
 
In his book Últimas noticias del sur, published in 2012, which chronicled the end of an era in the Patagonia region due to globalization, Sepulveda wrote: “In Patagonia, they assure us that turning back brings bad luck, so, faithful to the customs of the locals, we go forward because the destination is always ahead of us and on our back we should only carry a guitar and our memories.”
 
We regret that, like so many of his compañeros who have succumbed to this pandenic, that he does not have more time for us. May he have peace and joy in his journey in the beyond.