GUATEMALA CITY – An American Catholic priest was killed and another from Congo was seriously wounded in an attack in a rural community in northern Guatemala, a police spokesman said.
The incident occurred Monday night on a rural highway linking the towns of Chisec and Ixcan, some 500 kilometers (310 miles) north of the capital, National Civilian Police, or PNC, spokesman Donald Gonzalez told Efe.
“The report from the PNC substation in Cuban says that two men armed with rifles, who had their faces covered with ski masks stopped the vehicle in which five Catholic priests were riding,” Gonzalez said.
After robbing them of their belongings, the assailants fired at the priests, killing U.S. priest Lorenzo Rosebaugh, 74, the driver of the vehicle, on the spot and seriously wounding Jean Claude Nowama, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The other priests, identified as U.S. citizens Ruben Elizondo and Erado Capustra, and Canadian Rodrigo Macaous, were not injured.
All of the priests belonged to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, which works in impoverished areas in Latin America.
The body of Rosebaugh, who had been a parish priest for more than a decade in the community of Ixcan, will be transported to the capital in the coming hours.
Nowama is being treated for his wounds at a hospital in Coban, a city some 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of the capital.
“An investigation has been started to find those responsible for this crime,” Gonzalez said.
The violence besetting Guatemala, according to official figures, takes the lives of about 17 people each day, on average. EFE