businessman James Perry Edwards
gunned down in Colombia by hit men
Special to A.M. Colombia
A former Limón, Costa Rica, businessman who still had interests
here has been
gunned down in Colombia by hit men.
The dead man is James Perry Edwards, a former resident of that
Caribbean community. At the time of his death he was the operator of
separate business in Colombia, and owned several properties. The area
is on the northern Atlantic coast of Colombia.
a professional diving firm that repaired undersea cables and pipelines
and did general diving work.
Ironically Edwards, who went by his second name of Perry, complained
about thefts and criminality in Limón and said several months
was going to move the diving operation to Colombia.
Family members from the United States confirmed the death. The murder
took place Dec. 13, but news of the crime only reached Costa Rica late
last week. Edwards was in the Troncal del Caribe on the outskirts
Santa Marta near his office, in the process of negotiating a real
estate transaction when gunmen arrived on a motorcycle. He operated
Perry Edwards and his child
He suffered three bullet wounds, and the fatal shot struck him in the
chest. A stray shot wounded a passerby in the foot.
Investigators are working on two motives. The first, advanced by the
mother of Edwards' 5-year-old child, is that he was engaged in a
business activity and the shooting was designed to prevent him from
completing a sale, according to the nearby Barranaquilla newspaper el
Heraldo. She is Claudia Mantilla Hernández.
Family members of Edwards say that another possible motive might stem
from the prolonged legal battle that placed the child in the custody of
the North American. The child is the product of a fleeing romance, they
The Limón firm operated by Edwards was in the news frequently as
the repair agency for Costa Rica's internet connections. Both the ARCOS
and the MAYA undersea cables are vulnerable to anchors of fishing
boats, and the firm has been called on frequently to make repairs.
What irked Edwards the most was when crook stole one of his firm's
boats out from under the guards at the port of Limón last June.
The $30,000 boat was taken up the the Río Cieneguita, and when
employees of the firm went to find it, they came under fire from
presumed drug gang members.
Police and members of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacosta also were
greeted by gunfire on a second trip upriver is search of the boat, and
they withdrew and did not return, Edwards said. That was when he
threatened to move the $1.5 million firm from Limón.