Languages
Page last updated at 10:19 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Guatemala bus fire dead were shot

The bodies of 15 people lie on the ground in Zacapa
Guatemala is calling for outside help to investigate the attack

Fifteen people whose bodies were found in the charred shell of a bus in eastern Guatemala on Sunday had been shot first, investigators have said.

Police believe the fire was set deliberately and that the deaths were drug-related, a spokesman said.

Apart from a Dutch national, all on board were Nicaraguan, officials say.

Nicaraguan authorities have called on their Guatemalan counterparts to conduct a "transparent and efficient" investigation into the deaths.

A police spokesman in Guatemala City said parts of the bus, which set out from the Nicaraguan capital, Managua, on Friday, had been torn away as if someone were looking for secret compartments, the Associated Press reported.

Officers are also trying to find out what happened to a 16th person on board when the bus journey began but whose body was not found at the scene.

'No doubt'

Guatemala's Attorney General Amilcar Velezquez said he would be asking for international help to identify the victims, and who was behind the incident.

map

The bus was found in the Zacapa area, some 140km (87 miles) from the capital, where drug gangs are known to operate.

Police said the people on board the bus were found still in their seats, their bodies so badly burned that even their gender could not be initially established.

Police officers said traces of petrol had been found on and around the bus, which formed part of a regular services between the two capitals.

"We are calling on the Guatemalan authorities to be transparent and efficient so there is no shadow of a doubt in the case, as happened with the deputies from El Salvador ," Nicaragua's Attorney General Julio Centeno said.

This was a reference to the murder in 2007 of three Salvadorean politicians and their driver near Guatemala City.

Four Guatemalan policemen arrested in connection with the killings were themselves murdered in jail.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Guatemala bus fire leaves 16 dead
10 Nov 08 |  Americas
Country profile: Guatemala
22 Apr 08 |  Country profiles


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific