MIAMI — An Israeli businessman reportedly linked to mercenaries who trained Medellin drug cartel gunmen was found dead at the airport here, stuffed into the trunk of a car, police said Thursday.
The body of Arik Afek, who had been interviewed recently by Secret Service agents preparing for President Bush's visit to Colombia, was discovered Wednesday after police received complaints of an offensive odor coming from a car in the Miami International Airport parking garage.
The cause of death wasn't immediately announced, but was definitely a homicide, said police spokeswoman Lizette Williams. She said police wouldn't speculate on the cause of death because of the body's decomposing condition.
In Washington, a U.S. official, who spoke on condition on anonymity, said Afek gave several different accounts of his activities to Secret Service agents who interviewed him within the last two weeks.
The agents have been trying to determine if the Medellin drug cartel has access to antiaircraft missiles or other weapons that could be used against Bush during his visit to Colombia next month for a drug summit.
Last year, Colombian authorities accused Afek of helping reserve Israeli army Lt. Col. Yair Klein escape from Colombia amid reports Klein was training the guards of drug lords there. Klein later said he thought he was training farmers to fight guerrillas.
The two men were believed to have entered Colombia in August, 1988, and to have left in mid-1989.