An outspoken council member from the troubled Pacific port city of Buenaventura on Monday was shot and killed in southwestern Colombia.
In what authorities are calling a “targeted killing”, charismatic Buenaventura councilman Stalin Ortiz Gutierrez was stopped at a red light in the southwestern city of Cali when assassins opened fire on his truck.
“[Ortiz] was on official business. [He] had some visits and interviews in Cali. Every indication [is] that the two individuals came following him on a motorcycle, waited for the light to change to red and shot him several times,” said Cali police commander, General Fabio Castañeda.
Ortiz’s police escort was also reportedly hit in the hail of bullets, though he survived the attack escaping with serious lesions in the arm and leg.
“At least one of the delinquents was hit in the crossfire,” said Castañeda.
“We stopped a taxi 20 minutes away from the crime scene, with [a passenger with] similar characteristics to those pointed out by a witness. We apprehended a suspect carrying a revolver,” said the police commander.
The deceased Liberal councilman was an outspoken critic of the controversial arrival of the Gases of the West company. He also expressed his disagreement regarding the water utility service, Hydropacific Company.
Ortiz was also the pastor of his church and the father of the Colombian basketball star of the same name.