Colombian drug lord with $5 million US reward killed

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Victor Ramon Navarro-Cerrano (Credit: U.S. Department of State)

A Colombian drug lord targeted by U.S. investigators with a $5 million reward has been killed, Colombia’s President said Friday.

The death of Victor Ramon Navarro-Cerrano, a cocaine kingpin in North America and Europe, was confirmed by Colombian intelligence forces, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Twitter.

“Big blow,” Santos tweeted. “Congratulations!” He said criminals or their subjects face “justice or end under the ground.”

In his tweet, the Colombian President referred to the drug lord as “Megateo,” which is one of his several aliases.

Santos didn’t comment further about the death.

Navarro-Cerrano, 39, ran a criminal enterprise called the Librado Mora Toro Front of the El Ejercito Popular de Liberacion (EPL) that grew coca, ran cocaine production labs, and sold metric tons of the drug to the United States, Canada, the Dominican Republic and Europe, the U.S. State Department said.

Navarro-Cerrano also ran “a vast money laundering network responsible for moving millions of dollars to Colombia,” U.S. authorities said.

“Navarro-Cerrano uses his money and influence to corrupt officials in Colombia and even utilizes corrupt police officials to escort his cocaine shipments and investigate his rivals,” the State Department website said.

Navarro-Cerrano faced an August 2011 indictment in Florida and was designated as foreign drug kingpin last year by President Barack Obama under the Kingpin Act, which denies drug traffickers access to the U.S. financial system.

The U.S. government had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to Navarro-Cerrano’s arrest and conviction.