Guatemalan Authorities Launch Operation to Find Missing Criminal Leader

By Dialogo
July 23, 2013

Approximately 1,000 Guatemalan Police and Army personnel have formed a group to capture alleged Guatemalan criminal leader Eduardo Villatoro, aka Guayo, alleged leader of a gang that massacred eight police officers, and kidnapped and murdered a police chief in the west of the country, official sources reported.

“I call for Villatoro to go to the Police, since we are not withdrawing until we find him. We’ll find him, either by hook or by crook,” Minister of Interior Mauricio López told the press.

The official added that support was requested from federal authorities in Mexico, as well as from state authorities in Chiapas, in order to prevent Villatoro from escaping the country.

On June 13, eight police officers were murdered at a police station in Salcajá municipality, 200 km to the west of the country. Moreover, Police Chief César García was also kidnapped and later dismembered, and his remains were found a week after.

On June 20, the Police announced that two members of the gang had been captured, including Donaldo Villatoro, brother of the alleged criminal leader.

So far, 13 gang members have been captured, including the alleged author of García’s dismemberment, as part of so-called Operation Dignity.

Although the operation encompasses the west side of the country, it mainly entails Huehuetenango, where Villatoro’s gang operates in association with certain Mexican cartels.