Anti-Crime Operations in Guatemala Produce 27 Arrestees

By Dialogo
July 17, 2012

On July 15, the National Civil Police (PNC) of Guatemala conducted a large-scale operation in San Juan Sacatepéquez, west of the capital, in which 75 residences were searched, 27 alleged criminals were taken into custody, and a marijuana field was destroyed.

“Those arrested include members of the Local Security Board who, according to investigations, committed illegal acts such as extortion and murder,” Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla told local media.

The official added that these arrests demonstrate that “it doesn’t matter who it is, we’re going to take action against those who violate the law.”

According to the official announcement, two vehicles and one stolen motorcycle were recovered, and firearms of various kinds (shotguns, rifles, and revolvers) were confiscated, in addition to the arrests.

Meanwhile, Rony López, the head of the public prosecutor’s office targeting organized crime, specified that those arrested include four men and one woman suspected of leading a gang dedicated to various crimes for the last four years.

“They forced residents to provide nighttime patrol service, assaulted passers-by, and despoiled drivers traveling through the sector of their belongings, among other acts,” he specified.

In addition, according to López, these individuals are suspected of participating in at least two kidnappings and three murders.

The authorities also reported the discovery and destruction of a field of marijuana – around 500 plants – in a wooded area.

This is the third large-scale operation by Guatemalan security forces in a week, in different municipalities and departments of the country, with a total of 176 searches and the arrests of nearly 100 suspects.