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Jun 15, 1999

Guatemalan Ambassador wants report on border shooting

The Guatemalan Ambassador Rafael Salazar met with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials today to express concern over the shooting death of a Guatemalan evangelist by a B.D.F. patrol on Saturday. Guatemala is asking for a full report on the incident, an indication of whether charges will be filed against the soldier, and results of the postmortem. The Guatemalan press is saying that Mateo Ramirez was on Guatemalan soil and was beaten for no reason and shot by a B.D.F. soldier. The B.D.F. maintains that the man they are identifying as Mateo Paiz, was on the Belizean side of the border in Arenal Village and that he had refused to let a patrol search his bag, assaulted an officer, then fled back to Guatemala. They allege he returned a short while later and began threatening the patrol with a machete. He was told to stop but kept advancing on the patrol and was brought down by a single shot to the forehead.

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