American tourist shot dead during botched robbery attempt in Colombia

An American tourist has been shot dead in Colombia during an apparent robbery attempt after leaving his hotel in a wealthy enclave of Medellín.

Police said a 65-year-old New Yorker identified as John Mariani was assaulted on Friday night when the taxi he was travelling in was intercepted by gunmen in a chase vehicle and motorcycle.

Police are offering a $16,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

A far cry from the 1980s when it was the headquarters of Pablo Escobar’s feared Medellín cartel, Colombia’s second-biggest city has seen a tourism boom on the back of a sharp reduction in crime. The New York Times featured it at No 11 on its list of 52 places to go in 2015.

The US embassy had no immediate comment.

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