Arrest Made In Folk Singer Murder

Colombian authorities said they have arrested the man suspected of ordering the murder of Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral, who was gunned down last year in an ambush in Guatemala.

Alejandro Jimenez Gonzalez, a Costa Rican accused of leading a criminal group involved with money laundering in Central America, was captured Monday on a cruise ship in the Colombian Pacific port of Bahia Solano, said an official with the prosecutor’s office.

“Police had doubts about the man’s identity, so they began to verify it and his name emerged,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

The 74-year-old Cabral was gunned down in Guatemala last July in an attack that authorities believe was aimed at the Nicaraguan businessman who was driving the singer to the airport. That man was wounded.

Three other suspects were arrested last year in Guatemala in relation to the attack, but Jimenez had been a fugitive. Guatemala officials say the killers appear to have had the Nicaraguan businessman under surveillance for about a week before the July 9 attack and didn’t know Cabral was in the vehicle.

Costa Rican Security Minister Mario Zamora said Jimenez was captured trying to enter Colombia.

His arrest is “important because he is someone who plays a major role in the leadership and direction of organized mafias in Central America,” Zamora told radio station RCN.

Cabral rose to fame in the early 1970s, one of a generation of singers who mixed political protest with literary lyrics and created deep bonds with an audience struggling through an era of revolution and repression across Latin America.