At least six people are believed to have been killed and four others injured following a violent clash between suspected gang members that erupted during an indoor football match in Guatemala. Mass violence transpired Saturday night in the southeastern outskirts of Guatemala’s capital, Villa Canales. Five people were killed at the site itself, while the sixth person died while being taken to a nearby hospital by firefighters.
According to the investigation report consulted by Tico time, the attack was allegedly caused by gang rivalry, particularly between Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha. These gangs have a strong presence in Guatemala and other countries like Mexico and the United States. Witnesses at the indoor stadium said at least four armed assailants were seen arriving at the scene by car and were able to flee after the killings.
According to statistics, at least 3,500 lives are lost each year in Guatemala due to violence – which is one of the highest rates in Latin America. Violence mainly occurs in these areas due to drug trafficking and gang activity. On the same day, another such incident took place during a club match between Union Magdalena and Junior de Barranquilla in a Colombian football stadium.
Watch the video of the incident:
ULTIMA HORA. 😮🚨
Disadvantages in the stands of the Sierra Nevada in the middle of the classic of the Colombian Costa Caribe that is disputed between Unión Magdalena and Junior of Barranquilla. pic.twitter.com/IXgIGzverr
— Somostikitaka (@somostikitaka) April 24, 2022
The fight broke out between fans of both teams in the 73rd minute of the game played at the Sierra Nevada stadium in Santa Marta, which resulted in the game being suspended. A video of the incident is going viral on social media, where supporters can be seen throwing objects at each other, as the announcer urges everyone not to tear up the stadium. According to reports, two people were injured in the scuffle, one of whom later lost his life.
Violence has become a repeated affair across Latin American soccer venues this year, as reports of the same surface from time to time. A brutal clash between fans erupted outside a stadium in Colombia on March 5. The same night, another mass brawl in Mexico left 26 seriously injured and one man shot dead during a clash between soccer fans in Brazil.