Gunmen Kill Colombian Archbishop

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Unidentified gunmen on Saturday killed a Colombian Roman Catholic archbishop who had denounced drug-money corruption, shooting him in the head and chest as he left a church after presiding over a wedding, police said, blaming leftist rebels.

The two men shot the unescorted Archbishop of Cali, Isaias Duarte Cancino, at point-blank range as he left the Buen Pastor Church in Colombia's second most populous city and escaped on a motorbike. He had celebrated an evening mass wedding.

Duarte Cancino, who last month said drug money was funding congressional campaigns, was dead on arrival at a nearby hospital in Cali, in southern Colombia, doctor Ricardo Vanegas told local television.

The archbishop refused to name the aspiring congressmen whose campaigns he believed were funded by narcotics smugglers, saying their identities were widely known in the community.

Duarte Cancino had also publicly criticized leftist guerrillas and far-right paramilitary outlaws involved in Colombia's 38-year-old war -- which claims about 3,500 mainly civilian lives a year.

The police blamed Marxist guerrillas for the killing.

The largest Marxist rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -- known by the Spanish initials FARC -- has launched a sabotage campaign since President Andres Pastrana called off three-year peace talks in February.

It has blown up power pylons and blocked roads with booby-trapped vehicles. The army said it killed at least 28 FARC rebels around Colombia earlier on Saturday.