Saturday, 15 March 2008

Choc's supporters target tourists.

The tourists were reported to have been captured just upstream from the town of Fronteras, here on the Rio Dulce.
Mmn, thats a bit close for comfort, mind you I have seen no evidence of large numbers of troops in the area so I am not sure how much I believe of this report...

This is a translation of the news on La Prensa Libre;

Last night, at 21 hours, about 400 members of the security forces, including police and soldiers, arrived in Izabal, and could try today the release of four Belgian tourists who were taken hostage with the aim of pressuring the government to release the instigator of invasions Ramiro Choc, if dialogue fails.

Four Belgian citizens were taken hostage along with two Guatemalans (a tourist guide and a lanchero), in Izabal.

The fact is attributed to a group that has invaded protected areas and private, and claiming the release of their leader Ramiro Choc, who remains in prison in the capital, charged with three offences.

A month after the arrest of Choc, February 14, on charges of aggravated theft, aggravated robbery and illegal detention, his supporters took yesterday a new measure to retain four Belgian tourists and two Guatemalans.

The captives are Belgian citizens Gabriel Van Huysse, 64 years; Marie Paul Dubois, 62, and husband Eric Stofferis, 62 and Jenny Belaen, 59, and Guatemalans Mauritius Dubón, tourist guide, and Leider Estrada lanchero .

As recounted Dubón from the place where he is detained, tourists enjoyed the hot springs on the banks of the Rio Dulce and were preparing to take a trip to tour the Castle of San Felipe.

While carrying their belongings in the boat at 10 am, they were approached by a couple who were asked to transfer them to a point near the river lamp, Lívingston. The guide told them that the place was not in its path, and they threatened them and took them hostage.

The last thing we know is that the captives were in the river channels lamp, but Santiago Cabnal, spokesman for the farmers said that they were going to lead to another place, in order not to give opportunity for the police.

The captors are the same as the February 22 detained for nearly 33 hours at 29 policemen, always with the goal of requiring the release of Choc, but were unsuccessful. The officers were freed after a dialogue that would establish a commitment to negotiate the freedom of Choc, legalization of land invaded occupying some 14 communities in protected areas of the Cerro San Gil and Biotope Machacas Chocon.

The invaders failed to reply from the Government, which was taken as an insult, and threatened to break an oil pipeline passing through the community.

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