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Newsline: US diplomatic staffer in Colombia is missing and presumed dead

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that an American staffer from the US Mission in Colombia is missing and presumed dead after a boating accident over the weekend. The top US diplomat, speaking alongside the Colombian president in Bogota, said the boating accident occurred on Saturday and that other government personnel had been involved. Some were rescued with “modest injuries” and one was airlifted to the US for treatment, Pompeo said. The missing worker’s next of kin had been notified, Pompeo said, but they were withholding the individual’s name for privacy considerations. A spokesperson for the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs told CNN that the employee was “on temporary assignment to the US Embassy in Bogota” and was “engaging in tourist activities in Cartagena” when the boating accident occurred. (https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/20/politics/us-mission-colombia-worker-dead-boating-accident/index.html) Colombian President Ivan Duque expressed his condolences over the accident. He said Navy, Coast Guard and local services were participating in search efforts for the body of the missing worker. According to a press release from the Colombian navy, the accident occurred near the Rosario Islands, off the coast of Cartagena. 11 of the 12 passengers in the boat were rescued, the release said.

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