Mexico's Rascon Banda dies at 59

Playwright battled a long bout of leukemia

MEXICO CITY -- Victor Hugo Rascon Banda, renowned playwright and president of Mexico's Writers' Guild Assn., died Thursday in Mexico City after a long bout with leukemia. He was 59.

For nearly a decade, Rascon Banda was head of the nation's most important writers' guild, known as SOGEM, which protects authors' rights in film, television and theater.

Writer of more than 50 plays and the award-winning novel "Contrabando," Rascon Banda was considered one of Mexico's most important contemporary dramatists.

Despite his long-running battle with leukemia, Rascon Banda fought tirelessly to improve working conditions for film and television writers.