Guatemala Cancels Purchase of Israeli Weapons for the Police

By Dialogo
February 17, 2011

Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom announced the cancellation of a purchase of 3,000 Israeli rifles for the local police on 14 February, following questions raised in Congress about overpricing and that they would be an “experiment,” since only around one hundred have been sold worldwide.

Colom apologized to the Israeli government for the canceled contract and criticized members of Congress who questioned the acquisition of the ACE-31 rifles.

He explained that he rescinded the contract due to “spurious business and political interests (that) have unleashed a campaign of disinformation and manipulation, sowing doubts in the process.”

“In order to guarantee that this purchase is absolutely transparent and does not lend itself to manipulation, I have requested that the OAS accompany this process step by step,” he added.

Several congressional deputies questioned the purchase of the rifles from the firm Israel Weapon Industries because they have not been tested and only around one hundred of them have been sold worldwide, meaning that the Guatemalan police would serve as an experiment.

In addition, they complained of overpricing in the purchase of the ACE-31 models, valued at 6.8 million dollars, since another firm offered the same quantity of AK-47s for 4.7 million dollars.