'Emergency' in Guatemala over killings

President declares state of emergency in response to what is said to be the most brutal massacre in a generation.

    Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom has declared a "state of siege" in the Peten region along the Mexican border, where at least 27 people were killed over the weekend in an alleged drug gang massacre.

    The state of emergency will allow authorities to restrict demonstrations and police to carry out raids at night, among other things, according to local media.

    Colom said the order would last through to Tuesday to allow authorities to try to track down the killers, adding that police had captured a suspect and killed two others in an operation in which two policemen were wounded.

    Beheaded

    "Guatemala must confront this aggression, which is not only in this country, but in the entire region," he said in a televised address on Monday.

    Guatemalan authorities have identified 15 of 27 migrant farm workers beheaded in the weekend massacre they blamed on Mexico's Zetas drug gang.

    The killings at "Los Cocos" farm in La Libertad, in the Peten region some 600km north of the capital Guatemala City, were the worst in the Central American nation's recent history.

    Three children and two women were among the victims, authorities said. Among those identified, the youngest victim was 13 years old.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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