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Gun That Killed Colombian Presidential Candidate Came from Antigua

July 20, 1990

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua (AP) _ A Colombian government official says a weapon used to assassinate a presidential candidate in Colombia last year was part of an arms shipment sent by Israel to Antigua.

Pablo Gonzalez Monge of the Colombian attorney general’s office testified Wednesday before a commission investigating the shipment of Israeli arms from Antigua to Colombian drug lord Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha.

Gonzalez Monge said the shipment included one rifle that was used in the August assassination of Colombian presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan. He said the weapon was identified by its serial number.

The killing sparked the Colombian government’s crackdown on cocaine traffickers.

Israel has accused a son of Prime Minister Vere Bird of ordering weapons for Antigua’s army that wound up at a farm owned by Rodriguez Gacha.

An earlier investigation determined that the arms arrived in Antigua on April 24, 1989, and left the same day.

The weapons included machine guns, submachine guns, assault rifles and shoulder-fired rockets. They were seized from the farm in Colombia during an army raid in February.

The Antiguan government has said it never sanctioned the arms purchase, but Israeli officials claim former National Security Minister Vere Bird Jr. made the order.

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