Carlos Sanchez -- for decades the face of Colombian coffee -- has died

Bogota (AFP) - Carlos Sanchez, the face of Colombian coffee for decades, and of Colombia’s answer to Starbucks, has died in Medellin. He was 83.

“Carlos Sanchez has left us, after proudly embodying the Juan Valdez character around the world most of his life,” Colombian Coffee Federation chief Roberto Velez said on Twitter.

Along with his mule Conchita, Sanchez portrayed in global ad campaigns from 1969 to 2006 the coffee farmer with a thick mustache and a traditional hat, eventually becoming a symbol of the well-known Colombian premium coffee brand.

Juan Valdez now counts more than 200 stores in more than 22 countries around the world.