San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Ex-President of Airline Group TACA Found Dead

SAN SALVADOR – The former presidentof regional airline group TACA,Federico Bloch, was found dead Mondayin the interior of his vehicle on a road tothe town Nuevo Cuscatlán, 13 kilometerssouth of San Salvador, the companyannounced.Police authorities found Bloch’s bodyafter they were informed by citizens aboutthe incident around 2:30 a.m.Bloch, 50, had been shot twice, oncein the torso and once in the head, accordingto the National Civil Police (PNC).Ten days earlier, Bloch had resignedfrom his position as executive presidentof TACA, of which Costa Rican airlineLACSA became a part in 1997.The airline, based in the El Salvadorcapital, also includes Aviateca ofGuatemala and Aeronica of Nicaragua.In 2000, the company registered salesof $700 million.“It is a regrettable fact, (Bloch) wasan extraordinary person, he knew how todirect the TACA group very well when hewas executive president, and we cannotexplain how this could have happened,”TACA press director Claudia Arenas toldthe AFP wire service.Bloch cited personal motives for retiring.The interim president is the presidentof the company’s board of directors,Roberto Kriete.“(Bloch) wanted to dedicate himselfto his family, to have more time withthem. He was one of the shareholders ofthe group, but no longer formed part ofthe board,” Arenas explained.A police source told AFP the institutionhad opened “an intense investigation,” tofind those responsible for the crime.Bloch’s body was taken to theInstitute of Legal Medicine in the city ofSanta Tecla, 10 kilometers west of SanSalvador, for forensic recognition.In El Salvador, an average of eight murdersa day occur. With a population of 6.6million people, it is considered one of themost violent countries of Latin America.

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