Woman Suspected of Causing Explosion Arrested in Guatemala

By Dialogo
January 06, 2011

On 4 January, agents of the National Civil Police and the Guatemalan Public Prosecutor’s Office arrested a nineteen-year-old young woman suspected of responsibility for placing a bomb on a bus, causing the deaths of seven people and injuring at least another fifteen.

Up to now, the security forces have not been able to fully establish the identity of the individual apprehended, according to local media. At the time she was arrested, she said that her name was Sonia Elizabeth Véliz Hernández. Nevertheless, minutes later she affirmed that her name was Doménica Isabel Carrera Hernández.

The image of a marijuana leaf tattooed on her chest, as well as two tears tattooed on one side of her left eye, leads the authorities to suppose that she belongs to ‘Criminal Gangster,’ a branch of Mara 18, one of two criminal gangs active in Guatemala.

“We know that she belongs to a large criminal gang,” the attorney general, Claudia Paz y Paz, affirmed on the night of the arrest.

Meanwhile, the head of the prosecutorial office targeting organized crime, Rony López, maintained that the arrest of the young woman, also known by the alias of ‘La Paquetona,’ took place after carrying out ten searches of private premises. The woman was identified by the survivors.

With regard to the same subject, Ronaldo Robles, the social communication secretary of the president’s office, maintained that the mentioned “terrorist attack is worthy of condemnation, insofar as it was committed against innocent people.”

The explosion was reported on the afternoon of 3 January on a crowded bus in the western region of the capital, and from the beginning, there were witness accounts pointing to a possible attack, although the authorities were cautious while awaiting the findings of technical experts.