Puerto Rican comedian Luis Raul Martinez died Sunday of pneumonia after spending 18 days in a hospital intensive care unit, his family confirmed via the social networks. He was 51.

The artist died on Sunday morning in the Pavia Hospital in Hato Rey, outside San Juan, where the creator of characters such as "Piquito," "Mary Jane," "Tito Parpados," "Junito Popy Love" and "Malin" had been surviving since Jan. 27 with the help of an artificial respirator.

His family authorized the hospital to disconnect the equipment that had artificially kept him alive.

"Actor, Comedian, Producer, Man, Friend, Son, Brother, Puerto Rican," Martinez described himself in his profile on Twitter, where he posted his last tweet on Jan. 22: "Don't stop smiling, you never know who might fall in love with your smile."

After the news of Martinez's death became public, an event that local media had been anticipating for days, thousands of messages of condolence flooded in on the social networks from fans and dozens of friends, colleagues and personalities from the Caribbean island. EFE