Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Update on slayings in Guatemala

Guatemalan authorities have arrested four persons whom they say are drug traffickers, linked to the killings of three Salvadoran politicians and their driver in Guatemala a month ago. From the Associated Press:

Four people tied to drug trafficking were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of being among those who orchestrated the killings of three Salvadoran politicians and their driver, Guatemala's interior minister said.

Carlos Vielman said the four suspects ordered corrupt police officers to kidnap the lawmakers in February and bring them to an isolated, rural area outside of Guatemala City.

Four police officers arrested in the case were later killed in jail. Another officer is still in custody, and a sixth is at large.

Vielman said the four new suspects - three men and one woman whom he called drug traffickers - helped police search the parliamentarians' car for drugs and bought gasoline used to torch the vehicle and burn the four bodies.

"They were the ones that took apart the lawmakers' car looking for money or drugs, and we know that they are among the masterminds of the killings," Vielman said.

Vielman didn't immediately comment on whether the four had any role in the killings of the four police officers, who were gunned down in their prison cells. Witnesses blamed a group of men dressed as prison guards who were able to get through eight locked doors at the maximum security prison.


But still no explanation has been offered why the Salvadorans were targeted in this grisly crime.

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