WZO Emissary in Mexico Found Dead in Apartment

Shlomo Biran, a World Zionist Organization emissary, was found dead in his Mexico City apartment Sunday, officials said.

Biran, 59, had been bound and a cord had been wound around his neck. It is believed that he was murdered during a burglary, because the apartment was in disarray and a number of items were though to be missing, said police.

An investigation is under way.

Biran, who had worked for a year as a music teacher at the Megen David school for WZO’s Department of Education and Culture in the Diaspora, was scheduled to leave Mexico for a vacation last Friday.

His flight included a stop in Madrid. He was supposed to arrive in Israel on Saturday.

But when he failed to arrive, another WZO emissary went to Biran’s apartment and noticed a strong odor.

The police entered the apartment and found Biran’s body.

During his time in Mexico City, Biran’s family — his wife, Yael; a 27-year-old son, Tzlil; and two daughters, Shiri, 23 and Inbal, 21 — remained in Israel.

This is the second murder of a WZO-Jewish Agency for Israel emissary this year.

In March, Shimon Feingold, a 49-year-old married father of two, was killed during a fight with drunken neighbors in Kiev, Ukraine. Feingold was serving a two-year stint, representing the Youth Department of the Jewish Agency.

Avraham Burg, chairman of the Jewish Agency and WZO, offered his condolences to Biran’s family and expedited the return of the body to Israel.

He said he would not comment until after the funeral and the completion of the police investigation.

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