Family of Colombia shooting victim accuse husband

THE death of a 32-year-old Malaga woman killed in the Colombian city of Baranquilla has taken some surprising turns. Although initial reports showed Irene Cortes Lucas as the victim of a random hold-up, her family claims her husband hired someone to kill her. They say she did not want to go to Colombia, but he forced her to go, telling her his father was terminally ill.

Her husband, 34-year-old Farid Llinas Ariza, however, claims that it was she who insisted that they make the trip despite him telling her they didn’t have enough money, and denies he wanted her killed.

The couple had apparently been having problems since she had a relationship with another man while he was in prison for drug-related crimes. According to her family, he swore vengeance at the time.

Farid, who has lived in Spain for 10 years, has said that he was wrongly imprisoned and is on parole awaiting acquittal, and claims that he did not travel with a false passport as her family is saying.

The couple met at a disco in Torre del Mar where she worked, and lived with her five children, two of which are also his, in Velez-Malaga. They married five years ago.

Irene, who comes from a gypsy family was sentenced to seven years in prison and a fine of €100,000 for cocaine trafficking in 2007. Locals say that her lifestyle did not coincide with that of a person who is unemployed and that she had contacts with known cocaine dealers along the Costa del Sol.

Her family says he won’t answer their calls. But he claims that the phone they were carrying was stolen and Irene’s son threatened to kill him when he heard what had happened.

Since then, according to Farid, he and his mother have been receiving threats from the family. He has requested protection to return to Spain.

The man arrested for Irene’s death, Brayan Dario Blanco, aged 20, was sent to prison, having denied the charges against him which included aggravated manslaughter, aggravated robbery and illegal weapons possession.

Another 18-year-old man who handed himself in to the police has also been sent to prison.

There is a video of the events, in which one of the robbers can be seen putting a gun to Farid’s neck and attempting to get money from his trousers, before snatching his wife’s bag. When she hands it over, it falls to the floor and she is shot in the chest. She died later in hospital.


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