Bogota: Eight men were shot dead outside the southwestern Colombian city of Cali, authorities said Saturday.
The massacre occurred Friday night on a property in Pance town, where the bodies were found with their hands tied and shot in the head, after residents of the area notified authorities that they had heard several gunshots, police chief Gen. Omar Rubiano told the media.
"What is being reported is that all had their hands tied behind their backs and that long-range rifles were found at the site," Gen. Rubiano said.
The official said the eight men are thought to have been called to a meeting at the site and were subsequently killed.
The authorities` first hypothesis is that the slaying could have been part of a turf war between gangs of drug traffickers.
According to the authorities, at least two of the victims had criminal records.
One of the dead was alias "J1", who belonged to an organisation with ties to the criminal gang Los Urabeños, a successor to the now-defunct AUC paramilitary federation, according to Cali`s El Pais newspaper.
The area where the slaughter occurred is half an hour by car from the district where many of Cali`s universities and the Farallones Country Club of that city are located.
Friday`s massacre comes on the heels of other acts of violence in Cali over the past 24 hours, during which four people were killed by hired guns and another was wounded.
Such incidents continue to heighten anxiety in Cali, Colombia`s third-largest city, where a week ago eight journalists received death threats from Los Urabeños.