Guatemala

 

Guatemalan killings spark rumours of 'social cleansing'

Sergio De Leon

A string of violent and mysterious killings targeting Guatemalan gang members and criminals has prompted rumours of a "social cleansing" in a country where crime is rising and gangs are rampant. In recent weeks, at least two previously unknown groups have left fliers in parks claiming to be civilian vigilantes at war with gang members.

Farmers question value of 'responsible' coffees

Mica Rosenberg

Coffee farmers at Guatemala's small Chanmagua cooperative opened their land and growing methods to stiff scrutiny last year, in the hope an "environment-friendly" seal would bring them higher prices. But after all the hard work the farmers say they are disappointed with the small premiums over market price fetched by the coffee.

Ads seek ex-soldiers for smuggling jobs

Staff Reporter

Guatemala is investigating radio advertisements seeking elite ex-soldiers, who have been known to work for drug cartels, to smuggle goods into Mexico, officials said on Thursday. The ads were broadcast in the lawless northern jungle region of Peten, home to a tough military training centre for Kaibil soldiers, infamous during Guatemala's civil war as a brutal guerilla-fighting

Putin wins 2014 Games for Sochi

Karolos Grohmann

An innovative concept and the backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin were key factors in the surprise decision to award the 2014 Winter Games to Russia's Sochi. Sochi, on the shores of the Black Sea with a palm tree-lined coast, built a bid around the city's mild climate and the nearby Krasnaya Polyana snow-capped mountain range.

Blatter to waive altitude ban for La Paz

Staff Reporter

Fifa is backing down from its ban on international soccer matches in Bolivia's capital of La Paz, the agency's leader said Friday. Fifa president Sepp Blatter said he was responding to a request from Bolivian President Evo Morales, who led a campaign to overturn a ban announced in May on international soccer matches at altitudes of over 2500m.

Guatemala bus plunges off cliff, 37 killed

Staff Reporter

A crowded bus plunged off a cliff into a deep ravine in Guatemala on Friday, killing 37 people and injuring 25, emergency workers said. The bus was packed with people traveling to the village of Chiquimulilla in southern Guatemala when it skidded off the edge as it sped around a bend.

Centre-leftist beats general at Guatemala vote

Frank Jack Daniel, Mica Rosenberg

Centre-leftist Alvaro Colom won Guatemala's presidential election on Sunday, denying power to a retired general who had sought to unleash the army to fight a violent crime wave. Colom, a soft-spoken textile businessman, had an unassailable lead of 5,4 percentage points over General Otto Perez Molina.

Tropical storm lashes Guatemala, Mexico coasts

Mica Rosenberg

Tropical Storm Barbara lashed coffee- and sugar-growing regions near the Pacific coasts of Guatemala and Mexico with wind and rain on Saturday, toppling palm huts but causing no reported injuries. Barbara made landfall shortly after dawn on Saturday carrying sustained winds of 80km/h.

Giant sinkhole swallows homes in Guatemala

Juan Carlos Llorca

A 100m-deep sinkhole swallowed about a dozen homes early on Friday in a crowded, Guatemala City neighbourhood, killing at least two teenagers and forcing the evacuation of nearly 1000 people. Officials said recent rains and an underground sewage flow from a ruptured main caused the sinkhole.

Mob justice on the rise in 'criminals' paradise'

Mica Rosenberg

An angry mob snatches two accused child molesters in a Guatemalan highland village, ties them to a lamp post in the central plaza, douses them with gasoline and threatens to burn them alive. The attack last week was among the latest in Guatemala's long history of mob violence, which has seen an upsurge this year.

Mudslide turning into cemetery in Guatemala

Edgar Calderon

Fears rose on Tuesday that the death toll from devastating mudslides in Guatemala could reach 2000, as rescuers suspended their search for hundreds of people buried for six days under solidifying mud near a volcano west of Guatemala City. More than 650 are confirmed dead, but 1400 still are listed as missing.

Death toll from Central American floods climbs

Edgar Calderon

The official death toll from massive floods ravaging Central America and Mexico has surged to 770 as hundreds more were feared dead in Guatemala on Monday, following last week's mudslide that swallowed two small towns in the west of the country. Only 71 bodies have been recovered in the mudslide-hit area so far.