Sunday, September 8, 2013
Kaqchikel - San Jose Nacahuil liberated zone within Republic of Guatemala
"11 die in Guatemala - some tie act to corruption"
2013-09-08 from "Associated Press" [sfgate.com/default/article/11-die-in-Guatemala-some-tie-act-to-corruption-4797528.php]:
San Jose Nacahuil, Guatemala --
A group of men in a stolen car shot 29 people on the main street of a poor indigenous town in the mountains outside Guatemala City, killing 11 in an incident that some residents blamed on corrupt police officers.
Officials blamed the attack on gang violence but that was greeted with skepticism in San Jose Nacahuil. Residents expelled the national police six years ago and set up a community police force that patrols with sticks and machetes, and officials said the community had low crime rates in recent years.
Eight of the dead were shot in a cantina. The majority of the wounded were shot in the street between the cantina and a second, older establishment owned by the same local businessman. Two of those shot in the street died, along with a man shot in the second cantina.
Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said the National Civil Police sent a patrol car to the town Saturday night after receiving an anonymous call reporting fears of an imminent attack. Officers "determined that everything was OK and the patrol car left," he said. "One hour later, the attack happened."
A relative of the cantina owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of official retaliation, said the owner reported that the police arrived without warning, said they were checking the permits for the new cantina and demanded a $60 bribe to approve them. When the man refused, the relative said, the police told him to get all minors out of the bar and left.
"He came home, said the police had come to ask for the papers and asked him for 500 quetzales. Then when he didn't give it to them, they told him not to sell liquor to minors and get them out of the bar," the relative said. "Soon afterward I heard the shots. It seems like he hid in the bathroom and they killed him there."
The Kaqchikel Maya town of about 7,500 people some sits 11 miles northeast of Guatemala City.
Lopez Bonilla noted that the town has had a troubled history with police, with none stationed there because villagers burned down the police station several years ago. Residents said the incident erupted after the police falsely accused local men of kidnapping.
Relatives mourn victims slain in the mountain town of San Jose Nacahuil, near Guatemala City. Photo: Moises Castillo, Associated Press