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  HOME | Central America

Former Guerrilla Chief Gunned Down in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY – Juan de Leon Tuyuc Velasquez, a guerrilla commander during Guatemala’s 1960-1996 civil war, was killed Thursday in the western city of Solola, authorities said.

Tuyuc Velasquez was shot in the wee hours, according to police in Solola, 150 kilometers (90 miles) west of Guatemala City.

The victim was the brother of Rosalinda Tuyuc, leader of Conavigua, a group representing indigenous women whose husbands died in the civil war.

“Again my heart fills with sadness. My brother Juan de Leon Tuyuc Velasquez has died after being vilely murdered in Solola, again the family is in mourning, again my family suffers the snatching away of a loved one,” she wrote on Facebook.

Tuyuc Velasquez, then known by the nom de guerre “Peter,” commanded a section of the Guerrilla Army of the Poor for part of Guatemala’s internal conflict.

Most of the more than 200,000 people who died in the civil war were indigenous peasants slaughtered by the army and its allies.

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