Danish man dies from wound in Guatemala mugging

AP News
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Posted: Nov 06, 2009 9:15 PM

A Danish tourist died Friday, two days after being shot by robbers who tried to steal his camera while he visited a cemetery. Police said two suspected gang members had been arrested.

Paul Wolfgang Ritter died at a hospital in Guatemala City, where he was flown after being wounded in the port city of Santo Tomas de Castillo, said Luis Jose Fernandez, an official in the tourist assistance program of the Guatemalan Tourist Institute. He did not know Ritter's hometown.

Authorities said Ritter arrived on a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship and went with another tourist on a paid tour to a nearby town Wednesday. On the way back, they asked the driver to stop at the cemetery so they could take pictures. They were approached by two young men who tried to steal their cameras, and Ritter was shot in a scuffle.

Police spokesman Donald Gonzalez said two men, thought to be gang members because of the tattoos on their faces, were arrested.

Guatemala has one of Latin America's highest homicide rates, with more than 5,000 people killed a year, and many of the killings are blamed on gang warfare. However, homicides rarely involve the 1 million tourists who visit the Central American country each year.