Guatemala jailbreak: Prisoner freed by armed gang

Relatives of murdered footballer Carlos Mercedes Vasquez mourn beside his coffin on 29 November 2010 The rescued prisoner is accused of murdering local football star Carlos Mercedes Vasquez

Related Stories

Gunmen in Guatemala have stormed a prison near the Mexican border and freed a suspected murderer.

About 20 men with assault rifles and grenade-launchers attacked the jail in the town of Malacatan and then escaped in a convoy of vehicles pursued by the Guatemalan army and police.

A police officer and a passer-by were killed in the gun battle, police said.

The prisoner who escaped was accused of the kidnap and murder of a local footballer last month.

There was an intense firefight in the streets of Malacatan as the security forces tried to stop the raiders from getting away. As well as the two fatalities, four soldiers and several bystanders were wounded, police said.

Roadblocks have been set up and a helicopter has been searching the area in San Marcos Province in western Guatemala.


The rescued prisoner, Elmer Aroldo Zelada Galdamez, was arrested last week for alleged involvement in the kidnap and murder last month of footballer Carlos Mercedes Vasquez, who played for the local first division team Malacatecos.

Malacatan, Guatemala

The football star's dismembered body was found 28 November, dumped in five plastic bags with a note accusing him of "messing with the women of others".

Mr Zelada is also suspected of involvement in several other murders.

Guatemala has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with many of the killings blamed on organized criminal gangs that have links to Mexico's violent drugs cartels.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Latin America & Caribbean stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.