The massacre of eight people, including two children, in a community in northern Guatemala was carried out by drug traffickers, officials said Sunday.
The initial investigation concluded that the deaths of six adults and two minors is linked to a “settling of (drug trafficking) scores,” Guatemala’s interior minister, Mauricio Lopez Bonilla, told reporters.
Samuel Xal Xo, 55, and his sons Francisco, 25, Cesar Arnoldo, 18, and Jose Apolonio, 27, were gunned down on Saturday.
Irma Irene Caal Yat, the 24-year-old wife of Jose Apolonio, and their daughters Jaqueline Xal Caal, 5, and Luna Estrella Xal Caal, 3 months, were also killed.
Another victim was a 19-year-old man identified only as “Wilfred,” while two other people survived the attack in a village outside the city of San Luis in the northern province of Peten.
The victims had links with Sebastian Cacao Ico, a suspected drug trafficker who belonged to the gang led by Otto Turcios, who is serving time in a U.S. prison on a drug trafficking conviction after being captured in 2010 in Belize, the minister, who visited the scene of the massacre, said.
The gunmen who carried out the killings were looking for Cacao, Lopez Bonilla said, citing the findings of investigators.
The gunmen were armed with AK-47 assault rifles and 9 mm pistols.