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Latino Daily News

Sunday January 8, 2012

Bloody Weekend for Guatemala - 19 Murders in 24 Hours

Bloody Weekend for Guatemala - 19 Murders in 24 Hours

Photo: Bloody Weekend in Guatemala

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At least 19 people were murdered in Guatemala over the past 24 hours in different acts of violence, police and emergency services officials said Sunday.

Eleven people were shot to death in direct attacks by presumed hit men and the bodies of two more people were found bound hand and foot and bearing signs of torture, the fire department said.

Six other people, among them a woman, died violently in different rural parts of the country in armed attacks.

So far, security forces have not reported making any arrests in any of the crimes or in determining who the killers are.

Violence has increased in Guatemala over the past 10 years, authorities say, as a result of the presence of youth gangs and drug trafficking groups who have established themselves in the country.

Last year, according to official figures, a total of 5,681 murders were committed nationwide, an average of 16 per day and a murder rate of 38.61 per 100,000 residents.

Those figures make Guatemala one of the most dangerous and violent countries in Latin America.