Guatemala declares state of siege in province

AP News
Posted: May 02, 2012 2:06 AM
Guatemala declares state of siege in province

Guatemala has declared a state of siege for a province on the border with Mexico where 200 people armed with machetes and guns briefly took over an army outpost Tuesday night to demand justice for a man killed hours earlier.

Interior Secretary Mauricio Lopez Bonilla says he is sending troops and police from Guatemala City to the province of Huehuetenango to "restore order." A state of siege gives the army emergency powers, including permission to detain suspects without warrants.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rony Urizar says the mob took over the outpost in the town of Barillas and beat up soldiers, one gravely. They then left and set some buildings ablaze in the town.

Urizar says residents of Barillas oppose the construction of a hydroelectric plant in their town and believe the man was killed in retaliation.