US Embassy alert about travel to Peten

From CNN World, May 15, 2011: 27 people found dead at a Guatemalan farm

“Security forces in Guatemala have found 27 bodies, the majority of which were decapitated, at a farm in the northern region of Peten, Col. Rony Urizar, an army spokesman, said Sunday. Among the victims were two women and 25 men, he said. Peten is the northernmost part of Guatemala, which borders Mexico. Urizar declined to say what might be behind the killings, but did not rule out the possibility they could be related to drug trafficking.”

Travel Alert from the US Embassy:
May 16, 2011

Dear American Citizen: 

The following is a Warden Message concerning Security in Peten. Please share the following information with any other U.S. citizens you know, as soon as possible. It should be disseminated as widely as possible within the U.S. citizen community. Please contact the American Citizen Services Unit via e-mail (, fax (2331-3804), or telephone (2326-4501) if you have any questions. Thank you very much for your support and assistance. 

The following notice was received from Asistur, the Guatemalan agency that helps tourists. We are passing this notice to you for your information. 

“We are informing all that due to the latest incidents in the Department of Peten, we recommend not to travel to that destination to avoid any inconvenience that might arise and to protect the physical safety of local and foreign tourists”

There is an increased level of violence in areas of the Peten, characterized by murders on a finca in the municipality of La Libertad and shootings and bombings in Flores and Santa Elena. The U. S. Embassy wishes to alert travelers to exercise extreme caution when traveling through those places. Travelers going to Tikal should bear in mind that the airport for Tikal is in Flores and the road passes through Flores and Santa Elena before reaching Tikal.



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