News / Americas

Colombia Captures Four Suspects in Killing of US DEA Agent

A journalist looks at posters detailing the arrest operation of a suspect in the death of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent James "Terry" Watson, in Bogota, Colombia, June 25, 2013.
A journalist looks at posters detailing the arrest operation of a suspect in the death of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent James "Terry" Watson, in Bogota, Colombia, June 25, 2013.
Reuters
Colombian police captured four members of a crime gang thought to be behind the death of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent James “Terry” Watson” last week after a street robbery, police Chief General Jose Roberto Leon said on Tuesday.
 
The United States has sought the extradition of those involved in the killing, which was not connected to his work as a DEA agent, Leon said. More arrests are expected.
 
Special Agent Watson, a 13-year veteran of the DEA, caught a taxi outside a restaurant in Bogota's exclusive Parque de la 93 area late on Thursday. Two men entered the taxi as part of a robbery in which the taxi driver also participated. Watson was stabbed then escaped from the taxi and later died in hospital.
 
“These four people have red Interpol circles around their names and are sought for extradition for the murder of the DEA agent,” Leon told reporters in Bogota.
 
“They tried to erase the evidence to avoid being detected. They removed the seats of the taxi in which the victim was transported and tried to sell them.”
 
The buyers of the seats turned out to be investigators, Leon said. A bracelet was also found in the taxi, likely from another robbery. A bloody pair of trousers thought to belong to the driver of the taxi was seized as evidence, he said.
 
While most robberies in taxi cabs don't end in death, they are common in Bogota. Victims are taken on what is known as a “millionaire ride,” in which passengers are driven to a spot where a driver's accomplices are waiting. The victims are then driven to cash machines where they are forced to withdraw money.
 
Surveillance video of the streets show a second taxi pulling up behind Watson's and two men exiting and entering the first. Within seconds, Watson can be seen escaping the taxi and running from it, where witnesses say he collapsed and was taken to hospital.
 
Murder rate down
 
Crime in Colombia has fallen sharply over the last decade in step with a U.S.-backed offensive against drug gangs, Marxist rebels and paramilitaries. The murder rate has dropped about 36 percent since 2003, the year after Santos' predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, took office on a pledge to improve security.
 
But poverty remains rife in Bogota and crime is one of the top concerns for its residents.
 
With the latest arrests, Colombian police have dismantled seven crime gangs that engage in millionaire rides this year, Leon said.
 
Watson was assigned to the DEA's office in the coastal city of Cartagena but on temporary duty in Bogota. He was deployed three times to Afghanistan on anti-narcotics missions and had served in the U.S. Army.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Cubans Imagine New, More Prosperous Life Without an Old Foe

News of the historic shift in US-Cuban relations echoed quickly through the Spanish colonial plazas of Old Havana this week
More

Video Obama Faces Opposition on Cuba

Several legislative obstacles may stand in the way of normal relations with Cuba
More

US Expects January Talks With Cuba

Meeting, that was originally a periodic review of Cuba-US migration, will now include talks on restoring diplomatic relations
More

Brazil's Rousseff Pledges to Tighten Operations at Petrobras

She urges Brazilians not to lose faith in oil producer, which is mired in a corruption scandal
More

Colombia to Print Garcia Marquez Banknotes in Tribute to Writer

Currency to honor country's most celebrated writer, who died in April and who is renowned as the father of magical realism storytelling
More

US-Cuba Trade Could Grow Significantly

Analysts say US exports to Cuba could eventually hit $5.9 billion annually, while Havana's exports to the US could reach $6.7 billion
More