Armed gangs have shot and killed more election candidates in Guatemala, as the presidential and congressional campaigns enter their last month. The body of Carlos de Leon Bravo was found shot and locked in the boot of his car. He was from the left-leaning political party of former Nobel Peace Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchu. Guatemala is the most violent country in central America. Drug traffickers and former paramilitaries from the country’s civil war are blamed for the attacks.
Television news director Eric Salazar from Guatevision, said Guatemala is only a month away from voting, and there have been attacks on candidates. No-one knows what is happening in the country. Worst-hit has been the party of front-runner Alvaro Colom. His National Unity for Hope party has had 18 of its candidates and activists murdered in the campaign. Corruption is endemic in Guatemalan politics. Colom blamed organised crime and said his attempts to clean up the party had provoked the killings.
Guatemala’s violent civil war ran from 1960 to 1996, and left more than a quarter of a million people dead or missing. Almost 6000 people were murdered last year.