Simon Bolivar was killed by arsenic, says US specialist

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The Independent Online

Arsenic helped kill Simon Bolivar, according to a US doctor who is questioning the tuberculosis diagnosis given as the cause of the Latin American liberator's death in 1830.

Dr Paul Auwaerter, who presented his case at an annual University of Maryland School of Medicine conference on the deaths of famous figures, did not think foul play was at work. Arsenic was a common treatment at the time, he said, and was most likely taken as a tonic. Bolivar may also have inadvertently been exposed to the substance through tainted food and water.