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  HOME | Central America

Attacks Leave 1 Police Officer Dead, 6 Wounded in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY – A National Civilian Police, or PNC, officer was killed and six others wounded in two attacks on official vehicles, a police spokesman said on Sunday.

The attacks on police “were staged by organized crime groups reacting in this way to the transfers we have made to maximum-security prisons of their leaders,” a PNC spokesman said.

The first attack occurred Saturday afternoon on a road in northern Guatemala, where gunmen opened fire on a police car that ordered them to stop, killing one officer and seriously wounding another.

The gunmen wounded two other officers in a long shootout some 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from where the initial incident occurred.

The second attack occurred Saturday night on a highway north of Guatemala City, where gunmen opened fire on a police patrol car, seriously wounding three officers.

The attacks on the PNC, which have so far left three officers dead and eight others wounded, started Thursday, when officials ordered the transfer of 18 dangerous inmates to a maximum-security prison.

At least 15 attacks were foiled in different parts of Guatemala City after the first four incidents, Interior Minister Raul Velasquez said.

On Sept. 7, a series of attacks on prison guards and officials were launched after inmates were transferred to a maximum-security prison.

Guatemala has been plagued by a crime wave that has driven the murder rate up to around 17 a day.

The more than 5,400 homicides reported last year in Guatemala – a nation of approximately 13 million – was nearly equal to the number of murders in neighboring Mexico, which has more than 100 million inhabitants and is the scene of open warfare among rival drug cartels.
 

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