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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 August 2007, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Candidate shot dead in Guatemala
Rigoberta Menchu
Rigoberta Menchu said the shooting was a warning to her party
A centre-left political candidate has been shot dead in Guatemala, amid a wave of violence ahead of elections next month.

Clara Luz Lopez, who was running for a local council seat in the south-east of Guatemala, was shot dead while driving home after campaigning.

She was a member of the party of Rigoberta Menchu, the Nobel Peace prize winner who is standing for president.

More than 40 people have been killed since the poll was announced in May.


The Central American country will hold congressional and presidential elections on 9 September.

It has been the most violent campaign since the end of the civil war a decade ago.

Map of Guatemala

"This is a clear message for our candidates and for us," said Ms Menchu, the first Mayan woman to run for the presidency in Guatemala.

Earlier this month, the deputy head of a team of EU election monitors in Guatemala said his delegation was concerned that the violence would have a detrimental effect on the election and could tarnish the final result.

So far no-one has been arrested in connection with the killings, which have not been aimed exclusively at any of the leading political parties.

Prosecutors have warned that it is not entirely clear whether all the killings have been politically motivated.

EU alarm at Guatemala violence
24 Aug 07 |  Americas
Guatemala campaign deaths mount
14 Aug 07 |  Americas
Crime dominates Guatemala campaign
10 May 07 |  Americas
Guatemala urged to act on murders
18 Jul 06 |  Americas
Guatemala's epidemic of killing
09 Jun 05 |  Americas

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