Beauty queen gunned down in Guatemala.
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Beauty queen gunned down in Guatemala.

Guatemalan beauty queen Helen Lopez Roblero died on December 17 along with two friends after being shot in a seemingly organized car attack in the city of Malacatán, daily El Periódico reported.

Roblero’s body was found riddled with shots, as well as that of her friends Edwin Esturban and Alicia Carias. A second young man, Jose Lopez Castañon, was the only survivor.

Police are currently searching for the perpetrators of the murder and believe that the armed attack is related to drug gangs operating in the region. At the scene of the attack more than 100 bullet caps were found.

According to local media reports, the van that Lopez Roblero was travelling in was stopped by a group of hitmen who began opening fire.

Guatemala’s Public Prosecutor launched an investigation into the behavior of police officers, who could face punishment for failure to respond effectively to the rescue.

No arrests have as yet been made.

The authorities have not indicated whether there is a direct link between the victims and local armed gangs – linked to drug trafficking in and around the San Marcos department.

Live coverage

Just this week, El Periódico released a bloody video recorded at the crime scene.

The video was shot while waiting for the arrival of an ambulance. A witness recorded images of the triple murder on a mobile phone.

In the graphic recording a woman lies bleeding in the back seat. Her body is seen to be lying face down.

Witnesses are seen opening the car door. Some say that the girl is still alive. “Help me, please help me,” she can be heard shouting.

Others warn that no one should touch the victim, while saying that have to call the authorities.

The girl seen in the video died shortly afterwards in hospital.

World violence ranking

Guatemala will end 2015 with nearly 6,000 murders, 16 per day, therefore maintaining one of the highest annual homicide rates in the world, according to a report released by NGO the Mutual Support Group (GAM) on December 10.

So far this year, there have been 5,221 victims of murder, 2.24 percent less than last year, of which 4,521 were men and 700 women.

Although the annual rate in the number of victims decreased by two percent this year, in November it rose to 11.6 percent from the same month last year, a dangerous trend that could intensify in the future, GAM highlighted in their report.

Women still remain the most vulnerable population, with 700 victims reported in the first 11 months of the year.

In their report, the organization highlighted that the fight against insecurity “ought to be a task” supported the necessity of installing security cameras, like those placed in the Guatemalan department of Escuintla.

See also:

Violence against women continues to rise across Latin America