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  HOME | Central America

Four Guatemalan Cops Accused of Extorting Olympic Athlete

GUATEMALA CITY – Four members of Guatemala’s PNC national police were arrested for their suspected role in the confinement and extortion of an Olympic athlete, the force said on Friday.

Officer Lucas Gonzalez Hernandez and agents Marco Tulio Mejia Recinos, Jose Alberto Gonzalez Hernandez and Jorge Talento Ortiz were detained Thursday night at the Guatemala City police station where they work.

The cops are charged with the crimes of abuse of authority, soliciting a bribe and unlawful detention.

Olympic race walker Jaime Daniel Quiyuch Castańeda reported Wednesday that he was held and extorted by the police.

The bronze medal winner in the 2011 Pan-American Games told Efe that cops detained him on Monday in Guatemala City as he was riding in an automobile with his brother and a friend.

The officers demanded money in exchange for not seizing the vehicle since – they claimed – it was stolen and, when Quiyuch and his companions refused to immediately pay up, they were taken to a police station where they were allowed to make a telephone call to a relative who brought them a sum in cash.

Quiyuch, who competed for Guatemala in the 2012 London Olympics, called his wife, who came to the police station to deliver $260 to the police.

The cops also took the athlete’s cell phone, but they later released him along with the other men and returned the vehicle to them.

Warrants for the arrest of the four officers were issued Thursday.

Quiyuch, 26, was a teammate of the only Olympic medalist in Guatemalan history, Erick Barrondo.

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