Diana Turbay

Diana Turbay Quintero (b. March 9, 1950 – d. January 25, 1991) was a Colombian journalist kidnapped by the Medellín Cartel and killed by the Colombia National Police during a botched rescue attempt. Her story has been portrayed in a non-fiction book by Gabriel García Márquez and onscreen.

Diana Turbay Quintero
Busto de Diana Turbay.jpg
Bust of Diana Turbay.
Born(1950-03-09)March 9, 1950
DiedJanuary 25, 1991(1991-01-25) (aged 40)
Spouse(s)Miguel Uribe

Early yearsEdit

Diana Turbay was born on March 9, 1950, in Bogotá. Her father was Julio César Turbay Ayala,[1] the 25th president of the Republic of Colombia (1978–1982). The Turbay family are originally from Lebanon and her family still belong to, and frequent, the Club Colombo Libanes, a private social club of prominent Lebanese-Colombians.

Kidnapping and deathEdit

Turbay was kidnapped on August 30, 1990, when she was tricked into going to a supposed interview with a guerrilla leader, the Spanish priest Manuel Pérez Martínez, alias El Cura Pérez (The Priest Pérez). Turbay had been contacted by phone by an unidentified man. Later, a police investigation determined that the man belonged to Los Priscos, a criminal band, and had been hired by Pablo Escobar.[2] The latter's aim was to kidnap as many politicians and journalists as possible, to prevent Colombian legislators from approving an extradition treaty with the United States. Additional victims of this strategy were Francisco Santos Calderón, Maruja Pachón, and Marina Montoya.[3]

Turbay was kept at Copacabana, Antioquia, with her cameraman Richard Becerra. She died on January 25, 1991, during a botched rescue operation launched by the police without authorization from the family. The cause of death was a bullet in her back, which partially destroyed her liver and left kidney.[2]


Turbay was survived by her two children, María Carolina Hoyos Turbay (born 1972) and Miguel Uribe Turbay (born 1986), and her husband, Miguel Uribe Londoño.[citation needed]

In popular cultureEdit


The story of Turbay's abduction is recounted in Gabriel Garcia Márquez's non-fiction book, News of a Kidnapping (1996).[3][4]


Turbay is portrayed by the actress Liesel Potdevin in the TV series Pablo Escobar: El Patrón del Mal (2012).

Turbay is portrayed by Gabriela de la Garza in the Netflix Original Series Narcos (2015).


  1. ^ "Obituarios: Julio César Turbay Ayala, ex presidente de Colombia". El Mundo (in Spanish). September 15, 2005.
  2. ^ a b "Hoy Se Cumplen 15 Años Del Asesinato De La Periodista Diana Turbay" (in Spanish). Las Voces Del Secuestro. January 25, 2006. Archived from the original on January 18, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Stone, Robert (June 15, 1997). "The Autumn of the Drug Lord". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Marquez, Gabriel Garcia (1997). News of a Kidnapping. Grossman, Edith (Translator. New York: Albert A. Knopf.