BOGOTA, Colombia — Carlos Holmes Trujillo, a presidential hopeful for the ruling party who served as defense minister, died early Tuesday from a viral pneumonia related to Covid-19, the government said.
Mr. Trujillo, who was 69 years old, had been hospitalized Jan. 11 after displaying symptoms from the coronavirus. He was moved to the intensive-care unit four days later. Though his condition had been stable in recent days, a government statement said he began to deteriorate overnight and died shortly before 2 a.m.
“This is one of the most painful moments we have lived through,” President Iván Duque said. “I ask God for strength and always for hope. I accompany his family and his loved ones.”
A former mayor of Cali, diplomat and minister in various governments, Mr. Holmes Trujillo had served Mr. Duque as foreign minister and, more recently, as head of Colombia’s large armed forces. Colombia’s security services, which work closely with the U.S., have been facing twin challenges of rising narcotrafficking and a surge in violence in remote regions where drug gangs hold sway.
An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com