Pedro Lemebel, the Chilean writer, artist, activist, and provocateur, died last Friday morning of laryngeal cancer. By the afternoon, newspapers in Latin America and Spain teemed with tributes. In his native Santiago, hundreds gathered for his funeral on Saturday, and celebrities and politicians competed to offer the most extravagant praise. “Pedro Lemebel is an essential figure of Chile, a great artist who leaves an enormous void in the country,” said Claudia Barattini, the minister of culture. Chile’s socialist President, Michelle Bachelet, called him “a tireless creator,” “a fighter for social justice and defender of freedom.”
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