HomeNewsBriefAfter Foiled Plot, 11 Guatemalan Cops Arrested for Kidnapping
BRIEF

After Foiled Plot, 11 Guatemalan Cops Arrested for Kidnapping

GUATEMALA / 19 JUL 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

Eleven Guatemalan police officers have been arrested for trying to kidnap two civilians off the street, in what officials say is a relatively common type of scheme for officers to be involved in.

The officers were arrested following an investigation by the Public Ministry into reports by alleged kidnap victims. Guatemalan Byron Eduardo Lopez Moreno and Mexican national Francisco Bravo Navarro told authorities they were negotiating the sale of a car outside a casino in Guatemala City in May when they were detained by police officers, Prensa Libre reported.

The police handcuffed both men, but Bravo managed to escape, while Lopez was forced into the police vehicle, they said. Accomplices dressed in civilian clothes, and with their faces covered, drove the car around the city, while police hit Lopez and demanded 500,000 quetzales (around $65,000) from him, according to his statements.

Lopez said that the police released him after a friend of the two men delivered Bravo's handcuffs back to the station, as the officers were concerned that the escaped man would use the cuffs as evidence to report them. They took Lopez to La Villa police station and forced him to sign a document that he was not allowed to read, according to the report.

Eleven policemen were arrested on kidnapping charges in relation to this incident.

InSight Crime Analysis

According to the same report, Public Ministry prosecutors say this kind of scheme, in which police officers work with civilian accomplices to identify and abduct victims, is common.

This suggests reason for skepticism over news that kidnapping reports fell by 42 percent in Guatemala in the last three years. If police are carrying out kidnapping themselves, this would force down the number of crimes that are reported to the police.

However, the authorities' strong response to this case is a positive sign. Investigators apparently found the officers involved by comparing the victims' statements with global positioning system (GPS) records to retrace the paths of police vehicles. This follows other recent arrests of police officers suspected of criminal activity, like a group of alleged meth precursor traffickers, and the former head of the national police, who allegedly presided over extrajudicial killings.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

GUATEMALA / 13 JUL 2016

InSight Crime published an article examining tax rates paid by Guatemalan elites and their implications for the country’s…

ELITES AND CRIME / 10 MAY 2017

Guatemala's former Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla is facing yet another set of legal charges related to his time in…

EL SALVADOR / 21 MAY 2019

A new US list of corruption suspects in Central America includes officials with ties to sitting presidents -- an important…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…