Ecuador's President Jaime Roldos, killed when his plane crashed near the Peruvian border, was, at 40, the youngest person ever elected a head of state in Latin America.
Vice-President Osvaldo Hurtado was sworn in as president hours after the news of the accident and will complete Mr. Roldos' term of office, due to expire in 1984.
Mr. Roldos took over in 1979 after his Concentration of Popular Forces party won a landslide election.
The young lawyer, a self-styled left-of-center populist, was the first elected president after nearly 10 years of military rule in Ecuador.
Mr. Roldos emerged as a vocal leader of the Andean Pact, an economic grouping of Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, and its role as a strong democratic bloc in an area where militar y governments have long been dominant.