Six-year-old Carlos Daniel Gonzalez and his four-year-old sister Izabel survived by hiding from the killers as they shot dead their mother and father in the hamlet of ‘Las Escobas’ in Villa Canales municipality, Guatemala.
In all, seven members of the Gonzalez family, including an eight-month-old baby and an eight-year-old boy, were slaughtered by the group of strangers. The killings are believed to have been over nothing more sinister than a row over land rights.
After the bloody killings, the two terrified orphans returned to the crime scene with local authorities to explain what they had seen.
According to watchdog International Crisis Group, Guatemala is one of the world’s most dangerous countries, having a population of about 14million. More than 96% of all crimes go unpunished in Guatemala, and corruption pervades all levels of government and the police.
The country is overrun with violent gangs, and violence is worst for the poorest people.
The Guatemalan government reports that 6,500 people met violent deaths in 2009 and nearly 6,000 were slain in 2010. 41% of those deaths were linked to drug trafficking, while extortion was another common crime.
The Guatemalan Civil War ended in 1996 and the current president is Otto Pérez Molina, whose Patriotic Party won the 2011 election.
See the photos below:
Tragic scene: Carlos Daniel comforts his four-year-old sister, Izabel, as they show local police where the gunmen killed their parents
Six-year-old Carlos Daniel Gonzalez shows police how gunmen killed his parents and other family members
Volunteer firefighters stand next to the bodies of the seven dead family members. The shooting may have been the deadly conclusion of a land dispute
A clearly distressed Carlos Daniel Gonzalez is interviewed by local authorities about the gunmen who killed his parents and other relatives in the municipality of Villa Canales
Volunteer firefighters carry some of the bodies of seven people killed by unidentified gunmen
It is a vivid example – if children grow up witnessing such violence, no wonder crime flourishes! And it clearly is true not only for Guatemala, but for our beloved, suffering country, too…