Colombian 'Cocaine Queen' gunned down

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 04, 2012 8:56 PM
Colombian 'Cocaine Queen' gunned down

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Griselda Blanco, a Colombian drug dealer known as the "Queen of cocaine," was gunned down by unidentified assailants, local media reported on Tuesday.

The 69-year-old was shot twice in the head on Monday when she was walking out of a butcher shop in the north-central city of Medellin.

"She was in a butcher's ... and was killed by two unidentified people on a motorbike," Police Colonel Mauricio Cartagena was quoted as saying by Colombian daily El Espectador.

Blanco was a powerful drug smuggler in the 1970s and 1980s, credited with opening several trafficking routes between the Andean country, a leading cocaine producer, and the United States.

She was arrested in 1985 and sentenced to 60 years in prison for killing three people. She spent almost two decades behind bars in the United States.

Upon her release in 2004, she returned to Colombia.

Blanco reportedly showed the ropes to drug lord Pablo Escobar, the infamous kingpin who ruled over Colombia's cocaine trade for years until he was shot and killed by security forces in 1993.

(Reporting by Eduardo Garcia; Editing by Stacey Joyce)