17 Murdered in New Colombia Violence Spree

From Reuters

Seventeen people, including a prison director and five members of a family, were murdered in the latest round of bloodshed in Colombia, police said Saturday.

Twelve of the victims, including seven men whose bloated corpses were found floating in a reservoir, were killed in Antioquia, the province whose capital, Medellin, is the hub of Colombia's cocaine trade.

Police said there was no known motive for the killing of the seven men nor for the slaying of five family members in their home 30 miles north of Medellin.

Police in central Boyaca province said the bullet-riddled bodies of three men were discovered Saturday. They said the killings may have been the work of emerald dealers but did not elaborate.

Police also said they were investigating the killing of a prison director in Yacopi, near the capital, Bogota. He was gunned down Thursday night along with his female companion, police said.

Nearly 18,000 people were murdered in Medellin, Colombia's second-largest city, in the 1980s, the newspaper El Colombiano reported Friday.

Gunshot wounds killed 14,621 people, while 3,218 others were stabbed to death. The number of people shot to death increased by 100% during the decade, from 431 in 1980 to 3,564 in 1989.

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