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Guatemala Alert Issued After Americans Raped, Attacked

Guatemala Alert Issued After Americans Raped, Attacked

Old Nov 4, 04, 6:12 am
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Guatemala Alert Issued After Americans Raped, Attacked

US Government Issues Security Alert For Americans Visiting/Residing In Guatemala After Americans Raped, Attacked

Guatemala Alert Issued After Americans Raped, Attacked

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - The United States issued a serious security warning for Guatemala on Wednesday after a series of attacks on U.S. citizens in the Central American nation, including the rapes of children.

A statement from the U.S. Embassy said there have been three serious assaults on U.S. citizens in 10 days. In two of them minors were raped.

The statement did not come with a recommendation to avoid travel to Guatemala, which is battling a surge of violent crime. Buses and trucks are frequently held up in broad daylight.

In some of the cases, the attackers wore police uniforms and used police-like vehicles to trick their victims into stopping, the embassy said.

It was not clear if the attackers were police, although the embassy statement said police might have been involved in some of the attacks. The embassy declined to give further details.

While the vast majority of victims are Guatemalan, the embassy registers attacks against hundreds of U.S. tourists every year and is concerned that criminal activity is on the increase.

In recent months, high-ranking officers in Guatemala's notoriously corrupt police force have been suspended for alleged involvement in gangs dedicated to kidnapping and assault.

Several members of the office for professional responsibility, whose duty is to monitor police behavior, were recently fired for alleged corruption.

"We are retraining the remaining personnel, so that they work against the bad police," police spokesman Oscar Piveral said.
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