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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Football Star's Stepfather Kidnapped, Released

Lawyer for family of Argentina's Carlos Tevez said player's stepfather appeared to be unharmed
More

Video Young Migrants From Central America Risk Life and Limb to Get to US

For tens of thousands of young people trip north is fraught with hardship and danger
More

Mother of Slain Mexican Teen Sues US Border Patrol

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was in Nogales, Mexico on October 10, 2012, when US agent shot him through border fence from Arizona
More

Planning Post-2015 Development

UNDP official calls for investing in people
More

Magnitude 6.3 Quake hits Mexico, No Major Damages, Injuries

Earthquake hit southwest of Juan Rodriguez, in eastern Mexican state of Veracruz at a depth of 95 km (60 miles), the US Geological Survey says
More

California Governor on 3-day Trade Trip to Mexico

With immigration facilities bursting at the seams, Jerry Brown says child migration is on the agenda during his trade visit
More