Guatemalans protest killing of 12 people over territorial dispute

Central America

A woman waits for the remains of relatives to take home from the morgue in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, Monday, Dec. 20, 2021. A dozen people were slain Saturday in Chiquix, a village that has been involved in a years-long territorial dispute over water and land access with a nearby town, police said. (AP Photo/Oliver De Ros)

SANTA CATARINA IXTAHUACAN, Guatemala (AP) — Hundreds of demonstrators laid coffins on a platform to block a highway on Monday in Guatemala to protest the weekend killings of a dozen people.

The protesters placed eight coffins on an improvised wooden platform to demand justice in the case. They carried banners reading, “We Have The Right to Live in Peace.”

The killings occurred in the village of Chiquix, in western Guatemala near the Mexico border. The hamlet has been involved in a years-long territorial dispute with a nearby town.

The 11 people found shot to death on a road Saturday included men, women and children as young as 5. A local police officer was killed the previous day nearby.

Residents of Chiquix have quarreled over water and land access with inhabitants of the town of Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan. Negotiations between the two sides have so far yielded few results.

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