Pierre Aliker, a politician who fought for independence from French rule for his native Caribbean island of Martinique for over half a century, has died at age 106, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. Aliker was a close ally of anti-colonial writer Aime Cesaire and spoke poignantly at his 2008 funeral. The two founded Martinique’s Progressive Party in 1958, which sought autonomy or “departmentalization” for the island, though not total sovereignty from the French state. Mr. Aliker was Cesaire’s deputy as mayor in the capital, Fort-de-France, for more than 40 years. He has been buried at the Cimetière de la Joyau in Fort de France, a few meters from Césaire, following a religious ceremony and a funeral procession through the streets of the capital city, which were lined with crowds paying their last respects to the political leader.
In a statement, France’s Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault spoke of his “emotion” at Mr. Aliker’s death on Thursday.
His brother and fellow politician André Aliker was the subject of a 2009 film directed by Guy Deslauriers from a script by Patrick Chamoiseau.
For the original report go to http://www.philly.com/philly/obituaries/20131208_Pierre_Aliker___Martinique_politician__106.html#GklMiCxFfIvcd7ch.99
For a reports in French and a video of the funeral procession through Fort de France go to http://martinique.la1ere.fr/2013/12/07/les-obseques-de-pierre-aliker-91787.html