Argentinian folk singer Facundo Cabral has been shot dead in Guatemala.
The 74 year old was heading from his hotel to the airport in Guatemala City on Saturday (09Jul11) when his car was shot at by gunmen. He died in the vehicle.
Cabral's agent David Llanos and concert promoter Henry Farinas were wounded in the shooting, but Llanos said, "I don't know how and why this happened, because Facundo is well-known around the world and I don't see why anyone would be interested in killing him."
Cabral is one of Latin America's most famous performers, and his death has sparked waves of grief.
President of Guatemala, Alvaro Colom, said he was "dismayed by this cowardly act" and has declared three days of mourning, adding, "We will find these criminals and bring them to justice."
Guatemala's 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rigoberta Menchu, visited the scene of the killing and wept, telling reporters, "For me, Facundo Cabral is a master. He loved Guatemala greatly."
Cabral found fame as a protest singer in Argentina in the early 1970s, but his success was marred by tragedy in 1978 when his wife and baby daughter died in a plane crash.
In 1996, Cabral was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.