BOGOTA, Colombia – Gunmen on a motorcycle killed two Florida residents as they were leaving a fast-food restaurant in southern Colombia, police said Saturday.
Jose Alberto and Jaime Raul Orejuela Lopez — brothers and residents of Fort Lauderdale — were shot and killed Thursday in Cali, Colombia's third-largest city, a Cali police official said on condition of anonymity.
The brothers had apparently come to Cali from Florida about a week ago to negotiate a ransom with kidnappers who had abducted their Colombian father, police said. The father's identity wasn't immediately known, nor was it clear who had abducted him or if a ransom had been paid.
Jaime Raul, 30, was shot five times in the back and died on the steps of the restaurant. His 28-year-old brother died at a local clinic from eight gunshots, according to an article in Cali's El Pais newspaper.
Leftist rebels and a rival paramilitary group battling in a 38-year civil conflict kidnap for profit and politics. Colombia has the world's highest kidnap rate.
In a separate killing, a former professional soccer player was shot in the Caribbean coastal town of Santa Marta, bringing to three the number of prominent Colombian soccer figures killed since last month.
Luis Jairo Calanche was shot several times Friday in Santa Marta's main plaza, said Miguel De Luque, secretary of Colombia's top-division league. It was not known who killed him.
The 32-year-old Calanche last played for Santa Marta's Magdalena Union in 1999. He had also played for first-division teams in Bogota and Medellin.
Cesar Villegas, president of Bogota's top professional soccer team, was killed on March 4. An ex-professional player from Cali, Aldemar Sanchez, was killed on Feb. 24.