GUATEMALA CITY – A gang of robbers composed of officers of Guatemala’s National Civil Police (PNC), was arrested Monday in a town south of the capital, authorities said.
Francisco Sánchez, a regional PNC captain, told reporters that among the detainees were seven officers and two civilians, while three other dirty cops managed to escape.
“According to the complaint received by one of our units, a group of armed men, dressed in PNC uniforms, entered a home in the La Aurora subdivision, where they carried out an unwarranted search,” said Sanchez. “After subduing the inhabitants with violence, they robbed 18,000 quetzals ($2,300), four cellular telephones and a shotgun.”
The detained officers were intercepted on the road linking the town of Palin with the city of Escuintla.
Sanchez said another three PNC officers that may have taken part in the burglary and later fled were being pursued by special police units in the vicinity of the Pacaya volcano.
The alleged participation by members of the PNC in criminal acts has shaken Guatemalans’ confidence in that institution.
New Interior Minister Adela Camacho de Torrebiarte was to announce Monday the name of the new PNC director, who, among other tasks, will have to begin the process of purging and restructuring the force.
Earlier this year the institution was plunged into a serious crisis because of the alleged role played by PNC officers in the Feb. 19 murder of three Salvadoran lawmakers and their driver, as well as the subsequent slayings inside a maximum-security prison of four officers with PNC accused of the quadruple homicide.