Guatemalan president unharmed after shooting incident near Chiapas border

Mexican Army soldiers at the scene of the shooting.

The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, was not injured this Saturday in an armed attack on his entourage when he was leaving a village in the northwest department of Huehuetenango, a local radio station reported.

“Shooting at the presidential entourage in the La Laguna village of Jacaltenango, Huehuetenango,” the radio station Sonora es la Noticia (SN) first reported [1], and it added that there were injuries, although “President Alejandro Giammattei was not injured and is safe.”

The attack took place in La Laguna village in Jacaltenango, Huehuetenango, when members of the Guatemalan Army identified a suspicious vehicle and demanded that it stop. In that moment, its crew opened fire on the soldiers and, therefore, also on the president and his entourage that came in a caravan.

The soldiers repelled the attack and injured one of the crew members, who was injured in the leg. The rest of the passengers fled into Mexican territory, but were arrested by the Mexican Army. Those arrested are four, all of Guatemalan nationality.

Minutes before the attack, Giammattei and his Minister of Agriculture, José Ángel López, participated in an activity to incentivize small producers and entrepreneurs in order to publicize their articles and market them.

“Guatemalan Army units stopped a vehicle that was approaching their location; however, when members of the vehicle’s crew noticed the presence military personnel they started shooting and the soldiers responded,” the Army’s spokesperson, Rubén Tellez, indicated.

“The reaction of the members of the vehicle deserved the response that was given and to treat it as a possible attack on the entourage and the integrity of Mr. President, “said the official.

In the event, a man of Mexican origin who identified himself as Josué López Velásquez, an alleged member of the Jalisco Nuevo Generación Cartel, was injured. Apparently, the sources said, Lopez is the alleged leader of the structure that confronted the Guatemalan military.

The Blue River (Río Azul) at La Laguna village in Jacaltenango municipality in the department of Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

The zone is frequented by human traffickers, as well as drug traffickers, many of whom work for Mexican cartels.

The Presidency has not reported anything about that event and journalists from the state News Agency who accompanied the president on that work tour explained to Efe that they are well and that they are on their way back to the capital. “We’re doing well and we went to the first activity,” assured the journalist Brenda Larios, who covered the president in La Laguna.

Giammattei had traveled to Huehuetenango by helicopter on a work tour to promote products that the inhabitants of La Laguna cultivate, so that they can be marketed. “We are promoting local products in Huehuetenango, to support the small producer,” said the president, who shared with the neighbors, according to the official agency.

He suffered the attack when he was withdrawing from the event.

[1] Chiapas Paralelo reported: “The Guatemalan radio station Sonora es la Noticia was the first to report the event. In a note it warned that the events occurred while the Guatemalan and Mexican Armies were patrolling at a point on the border, when: “a group of armed individuals attacked them and they repelled the attack within the Guatemalan side.” And that the person injured was identified as a member of the armed commando, whose name is Carlos José López Velásquez, approximately 27, of Mexican nationality. The entire region is an area disputed between organized crime groups. Just last July 16, there was a confrontation in these border municipalities.


Originally Published in Spanish by, Saturday, July 30, 2022, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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