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Mar 27, 2002

Guatemalan wounded in border shooting

A confrontation between police and two armed Guatemalans near the Benque Viejo border has resulted in the wounding of one of the visitors. According to police reports, a patrol operating about five hundred yards on the Belize side of the frontier encountered the two men, nineteen year old Jorge Gonzales Salazar and twenty-two year old Wilmer Escobar Balseca, hiding in a secluded area around 8:30 this morning. Gunfire was exchanged, and while Gonzales was hit in the chest, both Guatemalans managed to retreat across the Mopan River, where Gonzales is receiving treatment in the Melchor de Mencos Hospital. According to police, Gonzales is a well-known bandit operating in the area and is wanted by authorities on both sides of the border. A twenty-two-calibre rifle loaded with six bullets, along with a ski mask, were found on the scene.

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