Ten members of an amateur Colombian soccer team called Los Maniceros (The Peanut Vendors) have been found dead in Venezuela.
The team had been missing since October 11th after traveling to Chururu for a match. On that day, police say 25 armed men stormed the field and “asked the referee for the list of players on the Los Maniceros team, called out the players’ names, lined them up and took them to an unknown destination.”
On Saturday, 10 bodies were found in various locations around the area. One “lucky” player managed to survive the ordeal, but had been shot in the neck and is still recovering in a hospital.
Venezuelan Vice President and Defense Minister Ramon Carrizalez blamed the attack on Colombians who were intent on taking an internal conflict across the border, while Colombian President Alvaro Uribe blamed terrorists and vowed his country’s cooperation. The National Liberation Army (ELN) is currently the prime suspect.
Whoever did it, there are going to be some scared soccer teams in that region due to the apparent randomness of this attack. Prominent teams might expect to be targeted for kidnappings because of their status, but an amateur team of peanut vendors is hardly wealthy or influential.