Guatemalan security forces on the weekend captured two more suspects in the June 13 massacre of nine police officers, officials said Sunday.
One of the men captured is supposedly the financial and logistical brains of the criminal organization that allegedly carried out the killings, while the other is an army deserter and assassin for the outfit, and their arrests bring to 14 the number of people now in custody for the killings in western Guatemala.
Donald Saul Villatoro Cano was arrested on Saturday in the mountainous northwestern province of Huehuetenango, and army deserter Rene Antonio Pop, 34, was arrested on the same day in the northern city of Coban, Guatemalan Government Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla told reporters.
Villatoro Cano, who moves around using a wheelchair, was transferred on Saturday night to the Guatemalan capital along with another suspect, Angel Alberto Alquijay.
Authorities said that Villatoro is the financial and logistical brains behind the so-called Guatemala Gulf Cartel headed by his brother Eduardo, who is still at large and allegedly linked with Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel.
The Government Ministry also said that Villatoro was in charge of manufacturing homemade synthetic drugs and laundering money, while Alquijay was responsible for transporting the drugs within Guatemala.
The minister said that the criminal group massacred eight police officers inside their station in the town of Salcaja in Quetzaltenango province and later kidnapped and killed police assistant inspector Cesar Garcia.
The criminal outfit had at least 50 all-terrain vehicles that authorities have seized in the huge nationwide Operation Dignity involving more than 1,000 police and launched eight days ago after the killings.
The arrested cartel members, including Pop, have all been transferred to the capital, where a "High Risk Court" has been designated to handle the case.
Authorities say the cartel massacred the police officers out of revenge for the alleged theft by the murdered police inspector and others of $1.4 million. EFE