The BBC's Daniel Schweimler says the funeral will be a national and international affair
Thousands have converged on Argentina's government palace to pay their respects to ex-President Nestor Kirchner, who died on Wednesday at 60. His body is lying in state to allow people to file past in honour of the man who was president from 2003 to 2007.
His wife Cristina Fernandez and their children have been attending the wake.
Mr Kirchner, succeeded by his wife as president, was expected to run in the 2011 election.
Relatives, government ministers and politicians have participated in the wake, while a steady stream of Argentines have been filing into the government palace to pay their respects.
Many were carrying candles, flags and flowers. Some applauded, others shouted "Nestor, Nestor" and "Nestor is not dead, he will live on in the people," while walking past the coffin.
President Fernandez, dressed in black and wearing dark glasses, was joined at the wake by South American presidents and friends, including former soccer player Diego Maradona.
She placed a hand on her husband's flag-draped coffin, with their son and daughter standing next to her.
It was the leader's first appearance in public since her Mr Kirchner died of a heart attack Wednesday aged 60.
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Very powerful images. The people coming together and shouting their words of support, all the South American leaders side by side... It sure feels like the end of an era in Argentina.