Nicaragua ex-cabinet chief Lacayo missing in air crash

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Antonio Lacayo greets Nicaraguan President Violeta Chamorro in this file photo from 7 September, 1995Image source, AP
Image caption,
Antonio Lacayo was a key figure in the government of President Violeta Chamorro

Police in Nicaragua are searching for a former cabinet chief after a helicopter crash which is confirmed to have killed three other people.

Antonio Lacayo, who served as cabinet chief from 1990 to 1997, was flying from the town of San Carlos to the capital, Managua, when the helicopter came down on Monday.

The pilot and two US businessman died in the crash, police confirmed.

Local people said there was poor visibility at the time of the accident.

Mr Lacayo played a key role in the government led by his mother-in-law, President Violeta Chamorro.

After leaving office he became chief executive of fruit company TicoFrut.

Deputy director of police Francisco Diaz said the bodies of the pilot and the other two passengers had been found.

They have been identified as Coca-Cola executive James S Horrisberger and Phil Wendell Tope, who worked for a Florida-based juice company.

Government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo said news of the crash was shocking and praised the role Mr Lacayo played both in politics and in business.