U.N. Diplomat's Death Possibly a Suicide

At first the scene in Nicaraguan consul Cesar Mercado’s apartment seemed to indicate murder, but now police say it may have been suicide. Marcado’s driver came to pick the 34-year-old diplomat Thursday morning for the UN General Assembly and found him stabbed to death and the apartment spattered with blood. But in addition to the knife wounds to Mercado’s neck and stomach, police have found a number of pinprick-size punctures, which an investigator described as “hesitation wounds—where you’re trying to see how painful it is.” Police say that Marcado’s learning he was HIV positive could have provided the impetus for suicide, and that “He was really feeling down and out for the last week." A possible obstacle to the suicide theory are the human hairs found in Marcado’s hands, which police say might indicate a struggle. Marcado’s friends refuse to believe he killed himself. "It was an animal, whoever did this," said a friend. "He didn't kill himself. It's a real tragedy."