Singer Chavela Vargas received a last goodbye in the Fine Arts Palace in this capital, where she had performed so many times, in an emotional posthumous tribute complete with the strains of mariachi and ranchera music.

Fans, friends and cultural and political figures attended the ceremony, the second to be organized after Vargas's death last Sunday at the age of 93.

"Her work and her great personality transformed her into one of the most important figures in Mexican music," said the general director of the National Fine Arts Institute, Teresa Vicencio.

A video in which the woman born Isabel Vargas Lizanos performs the well-known "Macorina" elicited applause and cheers from those in attendance, among whom were her friend and biographer Maria Cortina and the musicians who accompanied the artist over the past 10 years, Carlos Allende and Miguel Peña.

Despite the sadness at Chavela's departure, Vicencio said that she was going with "great pride and dignity" and will be remembered as a "woman who made her life a firm and decisive act."

Singers Eugenia Leon, Lila Downs and Tania Liberad recalled the artist through their voices at a concert where they performed well-known Vargas numbers such as "Flor de Azalea" and "Volver, volver."

In the vicinity of the Fine Arts Palace, several dozen fans waited in line to be able to enter and bid farewell to Vargas.

After the ceremony, which concluded with songs of farewell such as "Ojala que te vaya bonito" and "Piensa en mi," Vargas's fans were able to pass through the funeral chapel to say their goodbyes to the artist.

Later, Cortina said that the singer's remains were cremated, but where the ashes will ultimately be deposited or interred was not announced. EFE