Los Maniceros massacre

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Los Maniceros massacre
Tachira in Venezuela.svg
The men's corpses were found scattered across Táchira in Venezuela.
Location Táchira, Venezuela
Attack type
Kidnapping and murder
Deaths 11
Non-fatal injuries
Suspected perpetrator

The Los Maniceros massacre was the 2009 kidnapping in Venezuela of twelve members of a Colombian amateur association football team Los Maniceros (The Peanut Men), eleven of whom were later murdered. The dead were aged between 17 and 38.[1]

A single survivor, 19-year-old Manuel Cortez,[1][2] sustained a bullet wound through his neck.[1] The eleven bodies were discovered in several locations across the state of Táchira in Venezuela, according to Venezuela's Vice President Ramón Carrizales.[1] [3] The kidnapped men were mostly Colombian; one was Peruvian and one Venezuelan.[2][4][5]

Venezuela is on high alert following the incident,[1] with troops in the area ordered to "act forcefully" against any armed Colombian group.[6]


The men, nutsellers by trade,[7] were kidnapped and thrown into vans on 11 October 2009 in La Tala, Táchira, where they had come for a football match.[2][3] The kidnappers were disguised in black clothing and called the men's names before seizing them from a field on which they had been playing football.[1] Their bodies were discovered on 24 October 2009 with several bullet wounds.[7]


Manuel Cortez is the only survivor. Security has been increased in fear for the safety of Cortez.[1] A man was arrested after requesting to see him in the hospital and Cortez was quickly placed under guard at a separate military hospital.[1] He claims they were all chained by their necks to trees and had spent two weeks in this condition outdoors in the sun.[1]


The main suspect is the National Liberation Army (ELN), with Cortez blaming the group for the massacre.[2][4][7][8] He said they had been lured into the group's territory by its leader.[4] A motive has not been uncovered.[8]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ian James (2009-10-26). "Venezuela ups border security after 10 slayings". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Bodies found of 10 kidnap victims in Venezuela". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Colombian soccer players found dead in Venezuela". Reuters India. 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  4. ^ a b c "Colombian footballers found dead in Venezuela". Press TV. 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  5. ^ "Venezuela blocks Colombian mission to collect bodies". Latin American Herald Tribune. 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  6. ^ Ian James (2009-10-25). "Venezuela ups border security after 10 slayings". Associated Press. Archived from the original on October 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  7. ^ a b c Will Grant (2009-10-24). "Colombian football team 'killed'". BBC. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  8. ^ a b "Kidnapped local Colombian football team found dead". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  9. ^ "Soccer team slayings fuel Venezuela-Colombia rift". The Washington Times. 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  10. ^ "Ten kidnapped footballers are found shot dead". The Independent. 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  11. ^ "Ten Colombian amateur soccer players killed in Venezuela". MercoPress. 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-10-26.