Former Ecuador president Sixto Duran Ballen dies aged 95

QUITO (AFP) - Ecuador's conservative former president Sixto Duran Ballen, who served in the 1990s, has died, officials have said. He was 95.

"The death of Sixto Duran Ballen, a great patriot, former Quito mayor and ex-president, has plunged Ecuador into mourning," Quito Mayor Mauricio Rodas said on Twitter on Tuesday (Nov 15).

The ex-president died at home during a nap, relatives told local media.

Born in 1921 in Boston, in the US state of Massachusetts, where his father was consul, Mr Duran Ballen was an architect by training.

He led the Andean nation's conservative government from 1992-1996. He also was a lawmaker and public works minister.

While president, his neoliberal belt-tightening policies led to a massive general strike in 1994.

He also was in charge when Ecuador and Peru clashed in an undeclared war over a border dispute. The countries finally signed a peace deal in 1998 in Brasilia.