The Americas

Bolivia defense minister calls Colombia plane crash 'murder'

FILE -  In this Nov. 29, 2016, file photo, rescue workers recover a body from the wreckage site of an airplane crash, in La Union, a mountainous area near Medellin, Colombia. The chartered plane was carrying a Brazilian soccer team to the biggest match of its history when it crashed into a Colombian hillside and broke into pieces. The Bolivian aviation official who signed off the flight plan of the chartered aircraft is breaking her silence in a public letter published on Thursday, Dec. 8, accusing her bosses of trying to stage a cover-up. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2016, file photo, rescue workers recover a body from the wreckage site of an airplane crash, in La Union, a mountainous area near Medellin, Colombia. The chartered plane was carrying a Brazilian soccer team to the biggest match of its history when it crashed into a Colombian hillside and broke into pieces. The Bolivian aviation official who signed off the flight plan of the chartered aircraft is breaking her silence in a public letter published on Thursday, Dec. 8, accusing her bosses of trying to stage a cover-up. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File)  (The Associated Press)

Bolivia's defense minister says a plane crash that killed 71 people in Colombia was "murder" because the pilot only had the exact amount of fuel needed for the flight in violation of civil aviation principles.

The Bolivia-based LaMia airline flight was carrying a Brazilian soccer team to the Copa Sudamericana tournament's finals when it crashed outside Medellin on Nov. 28. Six people survived.

In a recording, the pilot is heard radioing to the control tower that he is out of fuel. Investigations continue, but authorities say he ignored international rules on fuel reserves.

"What happened in Medellin was murder because anyone who dares take passengers, more than 70 people, with the exact amount of fuel is clearly violating the most basic protocols of civil aviation," said Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira.