The medical staff treating Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon for the stroke he suffered earlier this week is keeping him in an induced coma to avert brain damage, the Reina Sofia Clinic said.

Garzon, 65, remains in "stable condition without evidence of deterioration" and doctors believe it "prudent to keep him in a state of cerebral repose in order to continue applying all the strategies of neurological protection that can avert inflammation and bleeding," the medical bulletin said.

On Thursday the former union leader had been one week in the clinic, where he went to be treated for a prostate infection but suffered a stroke after being hospitalized for several days.

Since Garzon's condition became public knowledge, people in different sectors have expressed their solidarity with the family and their wishes for his speedy recovery.

This is Garzon's second serious health problem since being sworn-in as Colombian vice president on Aug. 7, 2010.

A little more than 24 hours after his inauguration he suffered cardiac pain, for which he had to undergo surgery that left him incapacitated for several weeks.

In recent months, Garzon traveled internationally, drumming up support for his ultimately unsuccessful candidacy to be head of the International Labor Organization, which led him to set aside his normal routine of regular medical checkups and a special diet.

Garzon, a respected former union leader, became vice president on the ticket with Juan Manuel Santos after serving as labor minister in the 1998-2002 Andres Pastrana government and ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva during the 2002-2010 presidency of Alvaro Uribe. EFE