Sunday, July 6, 2014

Guatemala: Four Local Cops Throw Their Careers Away For US$260...Split Four Ways

According to EFE, four members of Guatemala’s PNC national police were arrested for their suspected role in the confinement and extortion of an Olympic athlete, the unit said on Friday (July 4).

Officer Lucas González Hernández and agents Marco Tulio Mejia Recinos, José Alberto González Hernández and Jorge Talento Ortíz were detained Thursday night (July 3) at the Guatemala City police station where they were assigned.

The cops are charged with the crimes of abuse of authority, soliciting a bribe and unlawful detention.

Olympic race-walker Jaime Daniel Quiyuch Castañeda reported Wednesday (July 2) that he was detained and extorted by the police.

COMMENT: The down-side of traveling anywhere in Latin America is that official corruption is highly institutionalized, although there are some nations, particularly in the Southern Cone (Argentina, Uruguay and Chile) where bribing a police officer can result in you're being arrested.

With the exception of the few nations cited above, police corruption throughout Latin America is generally endemic.

With few exceptions, only VIPs can force the arrest of police and get away with it. Sad.

The Bronze Medal winner in the 2011 Pan-American Games told EFE that cops detained him on Monday (June 30) in Guatemala City as he was riding in an automobile with his brother and a friend.

The officers demanded money in exchange for not seizing the vehicle since – they claimed – it was stolen and, when Quiyuch and his companions refused to immediately pay up, they were taken to a police station where they were allowed to make a telephone call to a relative who brought US$260. 

Quiyuch, who competed for Guatemala in the 2012 London Olympics, called his wife, who came to the police station to deliver the money to police.

The cops also took the athlete’s cell phone, but they later released him along with his companions and returned the vehicle to them.

Warrants for the arrest of the four officers were issued Thursday (July 3).