UN Assembly: Diplomat Killed In New York


A top Nicaraguan diplomat was found dead with his throat slashed and his stomach stabbed.

The bloody body of César Mercado, 34, was discovered inside his New York apartment by his  horrified driver.

The driver had turned up there at 10.35a.m .yesterday to pick Mercado up for the United  Nations General Assembly’s annual meeting, where U.S. President Barack Obama gave a  speech.

He was last seen alive the day before.

Police said the driver had found the Bronx apartment’s door ajar.

When he peeked through, he saw Mercado’s body lying just inside the blood-spattered  apartment.

It was initially thought one knife was used in the attack and was found near the body.

But investigators later determined there were two knives involved, a 12-inch steak knife  found at the side of a blood-filled bathroom sink and a smaller paring knife found in the  sink.

Mercado was fully clothed, and the apartment did not appear to have been ransacked,  police said. A police spokesman could not say whether he had defensive wounds on his  body.

Neighbour Michele Figueroa, 19, said he heard a commotion in the apartment around 3 a.m.

‘I heard somebody banging on the wall. But I didn’t pay attention,’ he told the New York  Daily News.

He said the diplomat was the type of friendly man who held doors open for others in the  building, but claimed they were not well-acquainted.

Now authorities are investigating a possible motive – but no suspects have been  identified yet.

An assistant to Nicaragua’s ambassador to the United Nations says the mission couldn’t  immediately release any information. Mercado came to the U.S. in 2001 to work as an  assistant in the office of Nicaragua’s ambassador to the United Nations, a friend said.

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He was single and his family was in Nicaragua.

He eventually became consul general, working with passports and immigration visas.

The assistant to the ambassador said the mission couldn’t immediately release any  information.

Mercado’s friend Amparo Amador said he was like a son to her. Recently, she’d urged him  to go to the doctor because he looked thin, and he had been diagnosed with diabetes.

The two went to the wedding of another friend in Brooklyn just six days ago, where he  danced and had fun.

‘He had no enemies. He was loved by everyone who knew him,’ she said in Spanish.

‘When I first heard of his death, I thought he must’ve died from natural causes because  there would be no way he could be killed.’

She said he lived the life of a young, single guy, but he wasn’t wild.

‘He was the perfect guy. The best person, just wonderful,’ she said.

‘I feel as if one of my children has died.’

However, it was unclear what his title was when he died.

The heads of more than 192 nations are in New York for the annual gathering at the United  Nations Headquarters in Manhattan.

Among them is Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega. He has vocally criticised the U.S. and  defended North Korea and Iran. He was expected to speak during the gathering.

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