Arm in arm, the children who survived a massacre (The Telegraph)

by Johan Ordonez

With an arm wrapped around his sister’s shoulder, a six-year-old boy leads police to the shack where he saw a gang of masked police men shoot his mother, father and the rest of his family dead in the middle of the night.

Carlos Daniel Gonzalez and his four-year-old sister Izabel were orphaned when gunmen killed their parents and five other members of their family, including an eight-month-old baby and eight-year-old boy, in the hamlet of Las Escobas, in Villa Canales, 15 miles from Guatemala City.

The murders, which Carlos and Izabel are said to have escaped by hiding under their beds, are believed to have been provoked by a land dispute.

Carlos described to police what happened, leading them to the spot where his parents were killed. He appeared to pose with an imaginary gun, re-enacting how his family was murdered, and could be seen showing police how he hid when the gunmen called.

Johan Ordonez, a local journalist who took the photographs said Carlos told police that 10 masked men with guns and dogs stormed the hamlet just before 3am on Tuesday. Police found 45 bullet casings – believed to be from AK-47 rifles – at the scene. Police have taken Carlos and Izabel to a children’s refuge. The Sonora news agency reported that Maria Concepcion Gonzalez, 50, and her grandson Israel Gonzalez, eight, were shot dead while sleeping in one room.

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Enrique Gonzales, 27, his wife Sandra Elizabeth, 25, and their eight-month-old baby were shot while sleeping in another. Roberto Gonzales, 25, and Encarnacion Gonzales, 18, were also found dead in the shack.

Another relation, Maria Consuelo, was quoted as saying: I heard the screams and the shots. We got up to look, but the individuals had already left. They wore black hats and gloves.”

Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. According to the US State Department, more than 96 per cent of crimes go unpunished and the police and government are awash with corruption. There are upwards of 100 murders a week in Guatemala City, making it one of the deadliest in Latin America, according to the US government.

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