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New Colombian vice president undergoing surgery after heart attack

By the CNN Wire Staff
Angelino Garzon was sworn into office as vice president for new President Juan Manuel Santos.
Angelino Garzon was sworn into office as vice president for new President Juan Manuel Santos.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Heart surgery was being performed Monday morning
  • An exam revealed several blocked arteries, a hospital director said
  • The surgery was not expected to disrupt a high-level Colombia-Venezuela meeting Tuesday
  • Angelino Garzon was sworn into office on Saturday
RELATED TOPICS
  • Colombia

(CNN) -- Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon was undergoing surgery for a heart attack Monday, two days after taking office, a hospital director said at a news conference.

Garzon underwent a cardiac catheterization procedure early Monday that showed he had several blocked arteries and needed heart surgery, said Carlos Alberto Cardona, scientific director at the Clinica Shaio cardiac center.

The new vice president arrived at the clinic between 6 and 6:30 a.m. (7 to 7:30 a.m. ET), said hospital spokesman Diego Cruz. Clinica Shaio is located in Bogota, the nation's capital.

Garzon, 63, was sworn into office Saturday as vice president for new President Juan Manuel Santos.

He is a former governor, member of the Colombian congress, ambassador and Cabinet secretary. He is also a former member of the Colombian Communist Party Executive Committee, his official biography says.

The vice president's heart attack and surgery was not expected to disrupt a meeting between Santos and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez scheduled for Tuesday.

The two heads of state will meet in Santa Marta, Colombia, to discuss how to repair ruptured relations between the two countries. Chavez broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia last month over accusations that Venezuela is harboring Marxist guerrillas who want to overthrow the Colombian government.