GUATEMALA CITY – Authorities have arrested seven additional suspects in connection with the abduction and death of a Spanish businessman, a spokesman for Guatemala’s PNC national police said Monday.
The arrests took place Monday in three different locations, the PNC’s Pablo Castillo told reporters.
Gilberto Puertas Arduengo, 72, was abducted on Jan. 23 at his country residence in the northern province of Alta Verapaz, along with a 13-year-old boy and Cristian Mazariegos Enriquez, 22.
The boy and Mazariegos were rescued alive by police on Jan. 27 in the Caribbean town of El Estor after a shootout during which four kidnappers were arrested.
The body of Puertas was found the same day behind the house in El Estor.
Three people, including a pair of brothers, were apprehended Monday near Guatemala City on charges of carrying out the abduction, Castillo said.
In El Estor, police arrested three people accused of holding Puertas captive, while another suspect – nabbed in Alta Verapaz – is thought to have supplied the guns used by the kidnappers, the PNC spokesman said.
Castillo said Monday that the kidnappers were demanding $500,000 for the release of the three captives.
He said that the authorities were attributing responsibility to the band for at least eight kidnappings around Guatemala.