HomeNewsBriefAssault on Police Station Leaves 8 Dead in Guatemala
BRIEF

Assault on Police Station Leaves 8 Dead in Guatemala

GUATEMALA / 14 JUN 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

A group of armed men murdered eight police and abducted one more in a key drug trafficking region in western Guatemala, in what is rumored to have been a revenge attack carried out by organized crime.

Investigators say at least 15 men travelling in three vehicles launched an assault against a police substation in the municipality of Salcaja, Quetzaltenango. The men, who were reportedly armed with AK-47s, executed the police officers while they were lying on the ground, reported Prensa Libre.

The group then kidnapped the station's deputy inspector, who has not been heard of since. Police later found a radio belonging to the missing official on a road heading west and believe they may have taken him to the Mexican border at La Mesilla.

The motivation for the attack remains unclear, although authorities have suggested it may have been payback for the seizure of over a ton of cocaine earlier this month. Two of the executed officers had played a role in that operation. It is also possible the attack was linked to the detention of an alleged bodyguard who worked for a local drug trafficker in San Marcos province.

InSight Crime Analysis

The modus operandi of the attackers -- and the fact that the municipality of Salcaja lies along a key drug trafficking corridor heading towards the Mexican border -- suggest the massacre is almost certainly linked to drug traffickers.

If the armed group did indeed flee with their hostage towards the Mexican border, this would imply the involvement of Mexican drug traffickers, most likely linked to the Zetas, who are believed to operate in the region and do not shy away from such spectacularly bloody operations.

However, if the rumor that the attack is linked to a San Marcos trafficker proves true, then the organization behind the assault is more likely to be homegrown. San Marcos has proven to be one of the few areas of Guatemala the Zetas have struggled to penetrate. Independent traffickers who work with the Zetas' rivals, the Sinaloa Cartel, are believed to control the drug trade in the province. 

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.

Tags

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 SEP 2013

Guatemalan cocaine seizures are on track to reach the same levels in 2013 as in 2012, but concerns remain over…

CIACS / 4 JUL 2013

Extrajudicial killings in Guatemala increased by over 50 percent during President Otto Perez's first year in office, according to a…

EL SALVADOR / 26 APR 2019

Extortion spurs violence in Northern Triangle countries, which consistently have some of the highest murder rates in Latin America. But it…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…