Colombian police arrest man in clown deaths

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February 24, 2007 07:18

 
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Police said they arrested a man Friday in connection with the killing of two clowns in front of dozens of children during a performance, in a case that has convulsed even this violence-hardened South American country. Walter Bautista, 21, who goes by the alias "My Fish," was being held on charges of murder and trafficking in arms, a police statement said. Clowns Willington Villamizar, 18, known as "Rony," and Nelson Nunez, 24, known as "Andres," were gunned down Tuesday night in the middle of their circus act in the town of Cucuta, about 400 miles (650 kilometers) northeast of Bogota near the border with Venezuela. Acrobats, harlequins, animal trainers and other circus performers staged protests in different parts of the country following the killings, chanting "Justice for the assassins of laughter." Other circuses held moments of silence for the dead clowns. A spokeswoman for the Cucuta police said authorities were investigating the cause of the double slayings, but said they had discounted the reason being the men's jobs.

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