Colombian footballer shot dead in contract hit
Colombian international footballer Elson Becerra, who played his club football for Emirati outfit Al-Jazeera, has been shot dead while on holiday in Cartagena, Bogota police said on Monday.
Becerra, 27, was shot by contract killers in a bar in the popular area of La Boquilla, police said, adding that they had opened a probe into the killing.
The footballer, nicknamed "el Chocolatin" or the "little chocolate", was hit by four bullets and died at a health centre where he was taken after the shooting, they said.
Becerra, who played in the 2003 Confederations Cup semi-final, is the 12th Colombian footballer to be murdered in the past 20 years, along with one referee.
The most famous case was that of Andreas Escobar, who was shot 12 times shortly after returning from the 1994 World Cup finals where Colombia had been surprisingly eliminated in the first round - having been touted as one of the potential winners.
Escobar had scored an own goal in the 2-1 defeat by the United States