Four UN Staff and Two Pilots Killed in Plane Crash in Bolivia

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–7 May 2011.  All four United Nations staff in Bolivia whose plane disappeared during a flight to monitor coca production northeast of the capital, La Paz, were killed when the aircraft crashed on Thursday, a UN official said today.

Two Bolivian military pilots also died, said Robert Brockmann, the head of the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in La Paz, citing information provided by the Bolivian Air Force. The UN victims were staff from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The next of kin have been informed, and the bodies of three of those killed are due to arrive in La Paz today, while the other three are expected in the capital tomorrow.

The UN staff, – two men and two women – are all Bolivian nationals. UNODC gave their names as Leonardo Ivan Alfaro Santiago, Stephan Javier Campos Ruiz, Mariela Cinthia Moreno Torreblanco, and Patricia Olga Delgado Rua.

Rescuers reportedly trekked for hours in thick rainforest to reach the burnt wreckage, which lay on a steep hillside deep in the jungle.

UNODC operates in more than 150 countries around the world through a network of field offices. The agency tackles drug trafficking, corruption, money laundering and organized crime, among other issues.