Friday, April 28, 2006

The sister of former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria was killed during an apparent attempt to kidnap her

BBC News:

The body of Liliana Gaviria, 52, was found shortly after she was snatched by armed gunmen near the town of Pereira, west of the capital, Bogota.

One of her bodyguards was killed in the attack, local officials said.

The killing comes a month before presidential elections, in which law and order is a major issue.

President Alvaro Uribe, who is seeking a second term in office, said the government would do "all in its power to make sure this crime doesn't go unpunished".

He offered a $434,000 (£241,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of those involved in the attack.

Cesar Gaviria was president of Colombia between 1990 and 1994. He is currently head of the opposition Liberal Party.

He is a former secretary-general of the Organisation of American States.

Two of the group responsible for the attack were reported to be wounded and in police custody.

The BBC's Jeremy McDermott says there is no indication as to who carried out the killing.

Although incidences of abductions and murder have dropped, this latest incident will undermine the government's assurance that Colombia is a much safer place and may have some influence on next month's elections, our correspondent says.

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