German tourist killed in Guatemala


GUATEMALA CITY – A 73-year-old German tourist died at a private hospital in this capital after suffering gunshot wounds during an armed robbery, officials said.

A spokesman for the Guatemalan Tourism Institute, or Inguat, told reporters that Paul Wolfgang Ritter died Friday after being shot by robbers earlier this week in the Caribbean town of Santo Tomas de Castilla.

“According to the medical report, the German tourist died as a result of cardiac arrest and an excessive loss of blood resulting from the gunshot wounds,” the spokesman said.

Ritter, who had arrived in the country a week earlier on board a Norwegian cruise, was mugged and wounded Wednesday by two assailants while he was taking photographs inside the Santo Tomas de Castilla cemetery.

The National Civil Police’s press office on Friday reported the capture of two youth gang members, saying they are the “prime suspects” in the murder.

Guatemala has been dealing with a crime wave that has driven the murder rate up to around 17 a day.

The more than 5,400 homicides reported last year in Guatemala – a nation of approximately 13 million – was nearly equal to the number of murders in neighboring Mexico, which has more than 100 million inhabitants and is the scene of open warfare among rival drug cartels