Argentine journalist Ricardo Alfredo Gentille died in a fall from the 16th floor of the hotel where he was staying in the northern Colombian tourist city of Cartagena de Indias, police said.

The operating commander of the Cartagena police, Col. Amparo Garzon, told the Colombian daily El Tiempo that it is not yet known whether Gentille fell on Monday by accident or committed suicide.

"The woman he was with told us he had a pulmonary complaint, and that when they were in Bogota the altitude had made him ill. He asked for an ambulance and went out on the balcony of the building. We don't know if he lost his balance or committed suicide. It's all under investigation," Garzon said.

Gentille, 58, directed the Argentine magazine Saber Vivir and had come to Colombia on Dec. 25 with his girlfriend to spend their Christmas vacation.

After a brief sojourn in the capital, the couple traveled to Cartagena on the Caribbean and were staying at a hotel in the El Laguito district.

"The Argentine consul in Colombia came here and is handling the necessary procedures for repatriating the body," Garzon said. EFE