Conservative Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, who was elected in 2019, reportedly survived a shooting attack that was initially thought to have
left some in his entourage wounded, according to the Spanish press.
“Shots fired at the presidential delegation in the village of La Laguna de Jacaltenango, Huehuetenango,” radio station Sonora es la Noticia (SN) reported. “There are wounded but President Alejandro Giammattei is unharmed and safe.”
ABC News later reported that one man at a checkpoint of soldiers providing security for the president’s visit was wounded.
The man was not a soldier, and was shot in the legs during the gunfire.
Giammattei now thought not to be the target of the shooting
While it was assumed that Giammattei was the target of the shooting, police now do not think that was the case.
The visit was near the Mexican border in an area known for human trafficking, drug smuggling, and gangs.
Officials now have a different story about what might have happened at the checkpoint.
“Personnel of the Guatemalan army halted a vehicle that approached their location,” Guatamalan Army spokesperson Ruben Téllez said. “But the occupants of the vehicle, upon seeing the presence of the military personnel, started firing, to which the soldiers responded, leaving one person wounded while the rest of the occupants of the vehicle escaped in the direction of Mexico.”
“Many things to be done”
Without overtly criticizing President Joe Biden, Giammattei last month told the Daily Caller that Biden’s immigration messaging and rules changes are causing “confusion” among those who would try to cross the border.
In particular, Giammattei said Biden’s reversal of DNA testing at the border to make sure family units were actually related has been exploited by smugglers and “coyotes” who take children in order to make it across the border.
Giammattei also said Biden should not reverse Title 42, or there will be an even bigger flood of immigrants coming across the border.
He said his recent meeting with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was a good one, but noted, “There are many things to be done still.”