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Americas Americas

Colombian drug lord shot dead in Madrid

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Latest update : 2009-01-09

A Colombian suspected of being a major drug lord has been shot dead in a Madrid hospital where he was receiving treatment. Police believe the murder is linked to a settling of scores. Colombia had been offering five million dollars for his capture.

AFP - Spanish investigators were examining security camera footage at a Madrid hospital Friday after a gunman shot dead a Colombian suspected of being a major drugs trafficker.

Leonidas Vargas Vargas, 60, was shot four times Thursday after the gunman entered his hospital room, where he was being treated for a pulmonary complaint.

Spanish police arrested Vargas in July 2006 in connection with a shipment of 500 kilos (1,100 pounds) of cocaine. He had since been released on bail as the investigation continued pending a possible trial.

At the time of his arrest, Colombia was offering a reward of five million dollars for his capture.

Vargas was convicted by a Colombian court for drug trafficking in 1995, sentencing him to 19 years in jail and fining him 1.5 million dollars.

Investigators considered Vargas a key figure in the Colombian drugs trade, linked to the Medellin cartel.

Police believe his killing was a settling of scores by his rivals in the milieu.

Date created : 2009-01-09

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