Ismael Arciniegas has gained a footnote in the history books – he’s the first Colombian to be executed in China for drug offences. If not the first, then certainly the oldest, at 72.
A retired journalist, he got into drugs by researching a book on South American drug cartels. In 2010 he flew to the southern Chinese port city of Guangzhou. At the airport he was arrested for carrying several kilos of cocaine. In China anyone convicted of smuggling, selling, transporting or producing more than 1 kilo of opium, or 50 grams of methamphetamine or heroin, can face the death penalty.
Before he died – by lethal injection – Arciniegas has a phone chat with his family.
He said: “I’m going very tranquil, very relaxed. Nothing worries me.”
Picture source: National Crime Agency