"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
A U.S. Embassy official was found dead Sunday in an apartment in northeastern Colombia with a gunshot wound to his head, authorities said. Jerry Benavides, the U.S. federal Bureau of Prisons’ representative in Colombia, was found in the northeastern city of Bucaramanga, 300 kilometers (185 miles) northeast of Bogotá, said a U.S. Embassy spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance with embassy policy. The spokesman could not immediately provide further details but said that the embassy was ‘‘working with Colombian authorities to determine what happened.”
Witnesses at the scene of the shooting told investigators that Benavides had committed suicide shortly before dawn, Santander state police chief Gen. Jaime Otero told Caracol television. ‘‘Everything indicates that he killed himself with his own pistol,” Otero told reporters. He said his body had been taken for an autopsy. Benavides traveled to Bucaramanga on Friday as part of a U.S. Embassy program to advise authorities on the running of Colombia’s prison system, Otero said. The United States has provided billions of dollars in mostly military aid since 2000 to battle drug trafficking and a 40-year-old leftist insurgency in this Andean nation. More than 3,000 people are killed every year in the conflict, which pits two Marxist-style rebel groups against a handful of far-right paramilitary factions and government forces.
Adding to the weirdness, Google shows a link to a related story at UPI, but it's a dead end now.
This upstanding and dedicated official for the Bureau of Prisons in the U.S. serving in Colombia was found dead, supposedly by a self-inflicted 9mm shot to the head. The services were held this weekend (Oct 8) and NO ONE believes the suicide to be true. There is so much corruption and danger in Colombia that Jerry's death is believed by all to be a homicide made to look like a suicide. Of course, investigations are continuing, but we'll probably never know the real truth. I hope someone in Colombia has the heart and guts to provide an official with some truth to this story.
No lo conocí mucho pero el poco tiempo que compartimos, fuimos de paseo, visitamos entre otros, las minas de Sal de Zipaquira y el queria muchas fotos para envarlas a su familia. Solo tengo buenos recuerdos y se que era alguien muy preocupado por la vida y por su salud. El jamas haria algo contra el mismo. A mi tambien me extraño que la notica de el desapareciera, pues estuvo menos de 2 meses en un periodico colombiano y luego el link se perdio, como si se pudiera borrar la vida de alguien quitando una pagina de internet. Yo tambien espero que algun dia se sepa la verdad. DPA