Latin America & Caribbean

Colombian drug baron's sister shot dead by two hit men

The sister and widow of two late Colombian drug barons has been killed in the northeast of the country.

Lorena Henao was shot dead by two hit men on a motorcycle. One of her companions also died. A 12-year old girl in the car with them was injured.

Police later arrested two suspects at a petrol station. A police spokesman said the motive for the attack was unknown.

Lorena Henao had spent several years under house arrest or in prison, but was released in 2011.

Henao's brother, Orlando, and her husband, Ivan Urdinola, were considered co-founders of Colombia's Norte del Valle or Northern Valley drug cartel in the late 1980s. Other family members were also involved in the cartel's activities.

The Colombian authorities say the cartel sent hundreds of tons of cocaine to the United States between 1990 and 2004.

Lorena Henao's brother Orlando was killed in prison in 1998.

Her husband Ivan also died in prison four years later, apparently of food poisoning. Lorena was believed to have been involved in his death, but it was never proven.

She took over the running of some of Ivan's businesses until she was arrested in Panama in 2004, together with the man who died with her on Thursday, Lucio Quintero.

He was believed to be her partner. The girl was one of his nieces.

Henao was deported from Panama to Colombia and sentenced to house arrest. She was later re-arrested when found in violation of her sentence conditions and finally release in 2011.

The Northern Valley drug cartel was prominent in the 1990s, after the break-up of the Medellin and Cali cartels.