For a South American ex-spy, diamonds weren't forever

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As the head of Peru’s intelligence services, Vladimiro Montesinos helped to turn his country into a quasi-dictatorship. Under President Alberto Fujimori, Montesinos bribed congressmen, silenced TV stations, protected drug traffickers and even arranged a shipment of 10,000 machine guns to Colombia’s FARC guerrillas.

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Along the way, Montesinos enriched himself to the tune of millions of dollars. He spent part of his fortune on a pricey men's jewelry collection.

Much of his bling was sold during the past two days at a public auction in Lima. According to Peru’s National Commission of Confiscated Goods more than $200,000 has been collected in the auction so far, with proceeds going to the police, and Peru’s Ministry of Justice.

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Swiss watches worth $100,000, and diamond studded cufflinks with his initials were part of the ostentatious Montesinos collection.

The catalogue for the auction included 39 luxury watches, and 76 pairs of gold cufflinks confiscated from Montesinos when he fled Peru in the year 2,000.

Montesinos, who was captured in Venezuela in 2001, is now in a Peruvian prison serving 20 years on several charges, including embezzlement, and abuse of power.

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Here are Vladimiro’s most outrageous accessories.

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This image was removed due to legal reasons.
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This image was removed due to legal reasons.
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This image was removed due to legal reasons.
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Manuel Rueda is a correspondent for Fusion, covering Mexico and South America. He travels from donkey festivals, to salsa clubs to steamy places with cartel activity.