By Donovan Longo, Apr 04, 2013 02:00 PM EDT
(PHOTO CREDIT: Creative Commons) Pictured is an emerald crystal from Muzo, Colombia.
Victor Carranza, the famed Colombian emerald dealer has died at age 78 years old. Carranza is known as the "Czar" of emeralds and the owner of emerald mines in the Boyacá Mountains, a forested area not far from Bogotá.
Carranza has been involved in the Muzo mining area outside Boyacá, Colombia from the 1980s until his death. During Colombia's "Green War," Carranza managed to remain in control of Colombia's emerald trade.
Like Us on Facebook
Carranza death was caused after complications from both lung and prostate cancer. Carranza was being treated in Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá clinic for several days before his death.
Carranza was very polarizing individual and was considered one of the largest land owners in the country. In 2010, he survived an assassination attempt. The attackers stopped his convoy with a gasoline truck and shot at his vehicle.
In 2012, prosecutors launched an investigation to find out if Carranza financed a number of paramilitary groups in the 1990s based on testimony given by a former leader of the paramilitary group called United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, Fredy Rendon Herrera.
Carranza claimed that he instead the victim of extortion.