CORAL GABLES (LALATE) – Santa Cruz Barillas, Guatemala riots prompted a State of Siege declaration today. Santa Cruz Barillas violence caused Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina to issue the official declaration Thursday. The state of siege was ratified during an emergency meeting.
As many as two hundred local residents took the streets of the town to boycott a construction job. The construction site allegedly calls for the seizure of lands to which Mayan natives claim ownership. Army spokesman Rony Urizar told news that residents were armed with both homemade weapons and loaded guns.
Army officials told news that peace was restored in the town after the dispatch of nearly five hundred soldiers and almost two hundred police officers. President Molina told news today of the decree of expedited warrants to insure peace in the region.
The indigenous communities of the region have yet to comment about Molina’s ruling. They contend that the hydroelectric plant’s construction should stop and that rioting in the Huehuetenango neighboring community will continue if officials ignore their dispute.