January 17, 2020 / 12:52 PM / a month ago

Guatemalan president declares state of alert in two municipalities

A man detained by officers of the National Civil Police is pictured while sit on the bed of a police truck after Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei declared a state of alert in two municipalities plagued by gang violence, in Mixco, on the outskirts of Guatemala City, Guatemala January 17, 2020. REUTERS/Luis Vargas

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - New Guatemalan president Alejandro Giammattei on Friday declared a state of alert in two municipalities on the fringe of Guatemala City that have been plagued by gang violence, underlining his pledge to get tough on crime.

In a televised address three days after taking office, Giammattei gave the order imposing certain civil restrictions on the municipalities of Mixco and San Juan Sacatepequez on the west and northwest of the capital.

“From today on, we will relentlessly pursue, 24 hours a day, all the criminals who have had us on our knees,” he said.

In his inaugural address this week, Giammattei vowed to put forward a law that designated street gangs as terrorist groups.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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