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German Executive Slain in Guatemala

June 2, 2001

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ An executive with the German pharmaceutical company, Schering, has been found slain in Guatemala City, officials said Friday.

Christoph Voigt, 48, the general manager of Schering in Guatemala, had been shot several times, according to Guatemala City firefighters who found the body. They did not say where the body was found.

Voigt was kidnapped 20 days ago and his captors had demanded $1 million, a company official who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

A company spokesman in Germany denied that there was a demand for $1 million ransom, saying he couldn’t confirm any money demand.

The company released a statement Friday demanding an ``exhaustive investigation and punishment for those found responsible.″

The German Foreign Ministry also said it was dismayed over the death, and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer relayed his sympathy to the family. The ministry said it would push for an immediate investigation.

Voigt had worked across Latin America for Schering over the last 12 years and had been head of operations in Guatemala since the end of 1998.

Ulrich Koestlin, a member of Schering’s board who is also responsible for the operations in Guatemala, also expressed his sympathy to Voigt’s wife and two children.

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