Saturday, 15 March 2008

Hostages identified as Belgian tourists.

So despite the Government of Guatemala's promises to talk with the leaders of the group that took 29 policemen hostage last month it would appear that promise was not kept. And now, surprise, surprise the furious indigenous group have stepped up their demands for somebody to listen to their complaints by targeting the tourists here in Guatemala.

Ramiro Choc may be styling himself on a Che Guevara type hero but surely the authorities are laying into his hands if they fail to live up to their publicly stated promises of dialogue...maybe Choc has a point?As a visitor here I watch with interest as real life politics plays itself out in this remote and volatile country.

In a phone interview from the boat where they were being held, one of the kidnapped Belgians told The Associated Press the travelers were touring caves in the region Friday morning when they were kidnapped.

"When we returned to the boat, two people that we didn't know ... came on board and suddenly we had 15 people on the boat," said Eric Stosstris, 62.

Stosstris identified the other Belgian captives as his wife Jenny Stosstris, 59, and their friends Gabriel and Mary Paul Van Huysse, ages 64 and 62, all from Ghent.

The kidnappers moved them from place to place after the abduction, he reported.

"We are held against our will, but they haven't hurt us," Stosstris said, speaking on a cell phone belonging to one of the kidnappers.

The kidnappers belong to the same group that took 29 policemen hostage last month in the Caribbean coastal town of Livingston, Goubaud said.

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