Nicaraguan diplomatic official found dead in NYC

Cesar Mercado discovered in his apartment with his throat slashed; no suspects identified yet

Published September 23, 2010 7:18PM (EDT)

A Nicaraguan diplomat whose throat had been slashed was found dead Wednesday by his driver, who was picking him up for the United Nations General Assembly's annual meeting.

Cesar Mercado, 34, was found at 10:35 a.m. in his apartment in the Bronx. The driver found the door ajar and Mercado's body lying just inside the blood-spattered apartment, police said.

"The knife was found on the floor next to him," said Paul Browne, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for public information.

Police were investigating a possible motive, and no suspects were immediately identified.

An assistant to Nicaragua's ambassador to the United Nations, Maria Rubiales de Chamorro, said the mission couldn't immediately release any information. Mercado was listed as the former counsel.

Leaders from 192 nations were in town for the General Assembly, including Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who is a fierce critic of the United States and a defender of North Korea and Iran. President Barack Obama addressed the General Assembly on Thursday.

By Colleen Long

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Crime New York City United Nations