April 18, 1999
Colombia arrests man in New York reporter's murder

                  BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) -- Colombia has arrested a key figure in the
                  gangland-style killing of a New York journalist who specialized in
                  investigative reports about the country's powerful drug cartels, police and
                  local media reported Sunday.

                  They said Guillermo Leon Restrepo Gaviria, alleged mastermind of the killing
                  of Cuban-American journalist Manuel de Dios Unanue, was arrested
                  Saturday in the upscale El Poblado district of the northwest city of Medellin.

                  Unanue, a former news editor of New York's Spanish-language daily El
                  Diario-La Prensa, was shot and killed by a masked gunman in a restaurant in
                  the Jackson Heights district of Queens, New York, on March 11, 1992.

                  Police sources told Bogota's leading newspapers that Restrepo Gaviria is
                  accused of having planned the killing on behalf of Jose Santacruz Londono,
                  a leader of the Cali drug cartel who was gunned down by police after his
                  escape from a maximum security prison in Colombia in March 1996.

                  Two other Colombians have been arrested in connection with the killing of
                  Unanue and one of them, Wilson Alejandro Mejia Velez, was convicted to
                  life imprisonment by a court in New York's Brooklyn borough in March

                  Judicial officials said Restrepo Gaviria faced probable extradition to New
                  York because of his reputed role in the killing, for which Santacruz Londono
                  is thought to have paid $50,000.

                  The Cali cartel, whose kingpins have all been jailed or killed since 1995,
                  once controlled up to 80 percent of the world's cocaine trade.

                  Shortly before his murder Unanue had written an expose about the brother
                  of a cartel leader who was arrested in 1991, after U.S. drug agents
                  discovered 12 tons of cocaine hidden in a shipment of cement posts
                  imported from Venezuela.

                     Copyright 1999 Reuters.