Colombian authorities are offering a US$1million reward for information regarding the assassination of Puerto Rican representative Freddy Chavarro, who was shot dead during a celebratory dinner with his family on Christmas Eve in Caqueta.
Police say Chavarro, a representative of the Puerto Rican Public Ministry, was in his home when he was shot five times by two armed men. The official was transferred to a nearby health center but was declared dead before he arrived.
"He was sitting on the platform when two guys came and shot him in the back. He started running and went back to the door, entered and sat on the bed; there he died," said his brother, José Rafael Chavarro.
According to reports from the National Federation of Personeria-Fenalper, Chavarro, who was considering running in the forthcoming Puerto Rican elections, had requested protection after receiving death threats.
His requests were denied by the National Protection Unit after officials deemed the measure unnecessary.
Chavarro was just one among 30 people murdered in Colombia on Christmas Eve, with the majority arising from violence and alcohol-related confrontations. A report registered a total of 313 people injured, more than 150 of whom were children suffering gunpowder burns.
Police broke the figures down, reporting that 39 festivalgoers were injured in Antioquia; 31 in Valle del Cauca; 29 in Bogota; 28 in Cauca, and 20 in Caldas.
Medical reports show that of the injured, 20 percent suffered eye damage and vision loss from explosives and firework displays, while 20 percent were bystanders and roughly 93 percent suffered burns.
General Jorge Enrique Rodriguez, director of citizen security with the General Police, said the figure represents a 67 percent decrease from last year.
Christmas Eve in Colombia stands out as one of the most violent nights of the year, with over 7,000 fights and 21 homicides during a 12-hour period last year.