Colombian drug lord shot in Madrid

Leonidas Vargas Vargas murdered in bed while receiving treatment at Spanish hospital.

    Vargas was detained in Madrid in July 2006 on possession of a fake Venezuelan passport [EPA]

    Neither police or the newspaper confirmed whether Vargas, 60, had been under police guard at the 12 October hospital in the Spanish capital.

    In the 1980s Vargas, allegedly a former partner of Pablo Escobar, the late Medellin cartel drug chief, ran his own cocaine manufacturing and smuggling operation out of a remote, jungle-covered area of Colombia's southwestern Caqueta province.

    A Colombian court sentenced him in 1995 to 26 years in prison for illicit enrichment related to drugs, but he was freed in 2002.

    Spanish authorities arrested him for carrying a fake Venezuelan passport in 2006 and he was awaiting trial in connection with a 500kg cocaine haul.

    His trial had been delayed and prison authorities freed him after he came down with what Spanish media said was a lung-related illness.

    Police believe his killing was a settling of scores by drug rivals.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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