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U.N. Diplomat Found Dead

October 7, 2010

Photobucket                      CESAR MERCADO’S BODY IS REMOVED FROM THE SCENE (PHOTO: D. GREENE)

By DAVID GREENE

Police are still investigating the death of a high-ranking United Nations official, found with his throat slashed in his Grand Concourse apartment in Mount Hope on Sept. 23.

According to police, the body of Cesar Antonio Mercado, 34, the Nicaraguan Consul General, was discovered by a livery cab driver, who was to take him to the United Nations, where leaders were gathering for the 64th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Officers from the 46th Precinct were called to Mercado’s sixth floor studio apartment at 2070 Grand Concourse, at 10 a.m., on Sept. 23. Mercado’s body was reportedly found just inside his front door.

Police say Mercado had been stabbed several times in his abdomen and his throat was cut so deeply, he was nearly decapitated. A steak knife and paring knife were found at the scene.

It was initially assumed that Mercado had been murdered. But an NYPD spokesman, speaking earlier this month, said neither homicide nor suicide had been ruled out. The investigation is ongoing. Police sources told the New York Daily News that Mercado had ingested liquid drain-cleaner before his death and that he had recently been diagnosed as HIV positive.

“We can only think of positive things when you think of this person,” said Kirk Jiminez, 46, a Grand Concourse resident and friend of Mercado. “What took place, we don’t know and don’t want to make assumptions.”

The friend continued, “He was very in tune with the community as far as outreach. He would help the homeless. He would do whatever he could, and it’s unfortunate.”

Several who live in the building claimed Mercado was not the first death to happen there, and that a tenant on the third-floor was killed two years ago. Despite that incident and several other violent crimes, residents say security cameras in the building haven’t worked for years.

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