Panama diplomat, husband die as river sweeps away car in Colombia
BOGOTA — Panama’s consul to Bogota, her husband and another family member died when their car was swept away by a full river in the rural southwest of Colombia battered by heavy rains, authorities said Tuesday.
Telma Deleise Barria was traveling with her husband and fellow diplomat Pedro Cantillo, another family member and two other people when they ran into trouble trying to cross the Frio river in an official vehicle, the local authority said in a statement.
The events occurred around 7:00 pm on Monday, and Barria’s body was recovered by rescue workers four hours later.
Two more bodies were found on Tuesday morning, according to local official Franky Vega of Colombia’s Huila department.
The other two people in the car were unharmed.
The five were on their way to a rest spot that can only be reached by crossing the river.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets the death of the Consul of Panama in Colombia and her husband. We send our solidarity to their families, colleagues and friends at this difficult time,” the Colombian government said on Twitter.
Catastrophic rains in the country are associated with the recurrent La Nina natural phenomenon that alters weather patterns.
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