INTRODUCTION: The body of an American linguist kidnapped by Colombian guerrillas on January 19 was found on the outskirts of Bogota on Saturday (7 March).
GV Crowds waiting outside morgue gates.
CU Sign on wall advising of free medical treatment ZOOM OUT TO people waiting outside.
SV SIL President Albert Wheeler walking through compound.
WV Police guarding entrance as Wheeler comes out of iron gates and is pursued by newsmen.
GV\ Aircraft on tarmac.
CU Bitterman's coffin being unloaded from truck and loaded into plane.
GV Aircraft starting engines and taxiing down runway. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The body of an American linguist kidnapped by Colombian guerrillas on January 19 was found on the outskirts of Bogota on Saturday (7 March). Mr. Chester Bitterman had been abducted by hooded gunmen who demanded that the American-based Summer Language Institute -- who were his employers must close down operations in Colombia. Police said Mr. Bittermann had been shot in the heart.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Bitterman's body was discovered inside a public mini-bus, wrapped in the flag of the Trotyskyite M-19 -- Movement of April 19 -- guerrilla group. The bus driver was found bound and gagged. The body was identified by the President of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), Albert Wheeler.
The Kidnappers had accused the Institute, which translates the bible into tribal dialects, of being a front for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Leftist groups also accuse the Institute of interfering with the way of life among Colombia's primitive tribes. The kidnappers had identified themselves as renegade members of M-19.
After a post-mortem examination, Mr. Bitterman's body was flown back to the United States for burial. Colombian President Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala expressed shock and anger over the killing. He said murder of Mr. Bitterman was a reply to an amnesty bill pardoning guerrillas ready to lay down their arms and join democratic opposition groups. Mr. Bitterman was shot three days after the country's Congress passed the Bill in a move to end violence in Colombia.