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Archive for Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Gunmen storm jail, kill potential witnesses

February 27, 2007

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— The mafia appears to be alive and well in Guatemala.

Gunmen stormed a Guatemalan prison and shot to death four jailed police officers who might have provided crucial insight into the slayings of three politicians from neighboring El Salvador, Guatemala's leader said Monday.

The four policemen killed Sunday included Luis Arturo Herrera, head of the Guatemalan National Police organized crime unit, and three of his officers. They were arrested Thursday in connection with the Feb. 19 killings of three Salvadoran representatives to the Central American Parliament, based in Guatemala City.

President Oscar Berger said "organized crime gangs" reached the officers' cell after getting past eight locked doors at the prison and were responsible for the "violent deaths of four important witnesses who could have helped the investigation."

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