GUATEMALA CITY – A prominent businessman and his daughter were murdered by two gunmen riding a motorcycle in a business district in southern Guatemala City, a police spokesman said.
Khalil Mussa, who owned textile firm Lacetex, and his daughter, Marjorie Mussa, were killed on Tuesday, National Civilian Police deputy director Rember Larios told Efe.
“We are dealing with a high-impact case” because the victims “belong to the highest levels of the business community,” Larios said.
Mussa, whose company is one of the largest textile firms in Latin America, was president of the powerful National Coffee Association, as well as a leader of the Association of Industries and the Guatemalan Exporters Association.
Two young men rode up to Mussa’s vehicle on a motorcycle in front of a shopping center and opened fire on the businessman and his daughter, killing them, eyewitnesses said.
The bodies of the 74-year-old Mussa and his 40-year-old daughter were found inside the vehicle.
“It’s clear that we are dealing with a direct attack. We have to determine the motive,” an Attorney General’s Office spokesman told Guatemalan media.
A new traffic regulation that prohibits more than one rider on a motorcycle took effect last week as part of an effort to end attacks by motorcycle-mounted gunmen.
In February, President Alvaro Colom ordered a halt to the issuance of firearms permits “for an indefinite time” in an effort to reduce the violence plaguing Guatemala.
Some 50,000 illegal firearms, according to private research centers, are in Guatemala, with most of the weapons being smuggled in from Mexico, the United States and Europe.
Street gangs are blamed for much of the violence plaguing this Central American nation.
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 war among rival drug cartels. EFE