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Latino Daily News

Thursday May 3, 2012

Guatemalan Authorities Detain 8 for Seizure of Army Outpost

Guatemalan Authorities Detain 8 for Seizure of Army Outpost

Photo: Mob in Guatemala seizes army outpost.

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

On Wednesday, eight people were detained for allegedly participating in a mob’s seizure of an army outpost in northern Guatemala.

The seizure led officials to declare a state of siege and caused chaos throughout the province of Huehuetenango.

Spokesman for the Defense Ministry, Rony Urizar said that 100 soldier and 160 police officers were sent to the province which in on the border with Mexico.

A mob of 200 people armed with machetes and guns briefly overtook the outpost, beat up several soldiers, and set some buildings ablaze in the town of Barillas.

Hours before the mob raid a resident of Barrillas had been killed which sparked the conflict. The group demanded justice while opposing the construction of a hydroelectric plant in their town.

President Molina defended his decision in declaring a state of siege and further claimed that those involved in the mob riot were collaborating with drug traffickers.

Alberto Brunori, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated to the press, “We received several reports of harassment in Huehuetenango allegedly connected to the hydroelectric plant, but those are reports that have to be investigated.”

This isn’t the first nor the last occasion in which farmers and human rights activists in Guatemala have filed complaints against companies trying to take their land for government project.

So far, Guatemala’s judiciary has issued 44 land eviction orders from all around the country.