Displaying items by tag: Guatemala
500 riot police officers entered a prison after a riot broke out at the facility, in the municipality of Cantel. At least seven prisoners were killed in the fight between rival gangs: most of them were beheaded. The prison, 125 miles from the capital, was built to house 500 inmates but has more than 2,000. Police sources told local media one of the inmates had ordered the attack on rival gang members in retaliation for the murder of his wife, who had been shot dead by two men on motorbikes hours earlier. According to the source, this man is serving a sentence for murder. Almost half of the roughly 3,500 violent deaths a year in Guatemala are carried out by gangs.
Praise God that the Institute for Victim Care and Assistance in Guatemala has been able to give holistic care to 4,600 survivors of violence in the past six months. 60% of those receiving the trauma-informed support, co-created by the Guatemalan government and IJM, were women and children. Praise God that survivors of violence can now receive free legal, psychological, and medical support in one place. Pray for God's strength for staff members at the Victim Institute as they continue to support survivors of violence.
The US homeland security secretary said they are expelling most single adults and families but not unaccompanied children. An average of 565 lone children are crossing the border daily. The highest number of families come from Honduras, the most unstable Central American country. Many lone children come from Guatemala, where youth population and unemployment are high and smuggling networks are developed. The transition from Donald Trump to Joe Biden has persuaded would-be migrants that a limited window now exists for US entry. In the Trump years human traffickers were thwarted, but they are now eager for more. Also, two major hurricanes have inflicted severe human and economic damage in Central America. Taking to the road to find a better life is dangerous, especially for children. Most flee from violence, corruption, and poverty all around them. Doctors Without Borders said 75% of migrants with children were fleeing threats of violence, including forced recruitment by gangs.
Category 4 Hurricane Iota began devastating Nicaragua on 16 November. It is the strongest storm on record to reach Nicaragua ‘We are in the hands of God. If I have to climb up trees, I’ll do it’, said a farmer in Guatemala. ‘We don’t have food, but we are going to wait here for the hurricane that we’re asking God to stop from coming.’ It came. Swollen rivers burst their banks, roofs flipped onto the streets and electricity poles have been downed. In Honduras the mayor of Wampusirpi said, ‘We are flooded everywhere, we need food and water. We lost crops when hurricane Eta struck two weeks ago.’ Pray for the residents of Central America which is still partly flooded, farms destroyed and debris from Eta everywhere. The wind tore the roof off a makeshift hospital. Patients were evacuated, including intensive care and two women giving birth during the first rainstorm.
Almost 4,000 people have been evacuated from the slopes of the Fuego volcano after it began erupting on 18 November, with ash and lava spewing from its crater. This comes five months after almost 200 people were buried by volcanic ash and mud during a violent eruption. That eruption generated pyroclastic flows - fast-moving mixtures of very hot gas and volcanic matter - which engulfed whole communities. Volcanologists say that this time, lava is rising 500m above the volcano's crater. The ash cloud towers one kilometre above the 3,763-metre tall volcano. Fuego is one of Latin America's most active volcanoes.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is in its 48th day, wreaking havoc with thousands of varying magnitude earthquakes and a lava flow destroying property on its way to the ocean. Guatemala’s Fuego volcano eruptions, which began on 3 June, are different but no less deadly, occasionally shutting the international airport due to ash. Violent eruptions from another peak recently killed over 110 people. Eruptions have left dense volcanic mud covering villages with rescue attempts having to halt every so often due to the unstable environment. At the time of writing 200 people remain missing in Guatemala; 12,000 are displaced, and being supported by NGOs with food, water and relief items. Pray for those helping to restore family links and for those giving psychosocial support. Donald Trump approved a request for federal aid to assist the thousands left homeless after 600+ homes were destroyed by Hawaii’s lava.
There are over 75 people dead, 200 still missing and 3,319 in shelters, many of them with dead or missing loved ones, unable to return to homes and land destroyed by Guatemala’s most active volcano. Firefighters said the chance of finding anyone alive was now practically non-existent. The thick grey ash covering the region has been hardened by rainfall, making it even more difficult to dig through the piles of rocks and debris. Pray for the exhausted rescue workers still searching for survivors. Pray for those who have lost loved ones. Pray for the rural communities who have lost everything - land, livestock and livelihood - in a once-fertile collection of canyons, hillsides and farms now reduced to a moonscape of ash and debris. ‘In a matter of three or four minutes the village disappeared as a sea of muck came crashing into homes, inundating people, pets and wildlife’, said one survivor.
The USA wasn’t the only country to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem this week. Just days after the historic - and contentious - opening in the holy city, Guatemala did the same. President Jimmy Morales, a strong evangelical, said, ‘We have had an excellent relationship with Israel since it was founded. I believe we will be receiving a blessing for both peoples by doing the right thing.’ Citing prayer and prophecy as their motivation, Morales and vice president Jafeth Cabrera officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year and pledged to return their embassy there. ‘People in Guatemala pray for peace in this region, pray for Jerusalem, and they are excited’, said Sarah Solis, the country’s ambassador to Israel.
President Morales has announced that the Guatemalan embassy will be moved to Jerusalem in May, just two days after the United States. The president, an outspoken Christian Evangelical, has been publicly supportive of Israel since the beginning of his mandate. After receiving an award recently he said, ‘From the bottom of my heart, I tell you, I don’t feel I deserve this. I’m just trying to do the right thing and allow my God, my people, and history to judge me.’ Vice president Jafeth Cabrera said his country is fulfilling biblical prophecy: ‘Yes, we do share the idea that prophecy is coming to pass. We are pleased that Guatemala is contributing to having that happen, and we hope it will soon be a reality.’ The vice president also said the decision could not have happened without prayer.
Former Guatemalan football federation official Hector Trujillo, arrested in December 2015 in Florida, has become the first person to be sentenced in investigations into corruption in FIFA. He had accepted almost $200,000 in bribes from a sports marketing company. A further forty football and marketing executives have been accused. Many of the charges involve bribes paid around the organisation of regional tournaments and World Cup qualifying games. Prosecutors in Switzerland have also been investigating, and FIFA has conducted internal enquiries.