Sunday, September 2, 2007

Child-snatching in Guatemala

Sunday Telegraph [UK]
2 September 2007

Guatemala's child-snatching plague

By Philip Sherwell in Guatemala City, Sunday Telegraph

[...] In far-flung rural areas, meanwhile, so strong is the hysteria about child-stealing gangs that there have been dozens of lynchings of suspected baby thieves - although the victims have often simply been outsiders, not known in the remote villages.

Britain's ambassador, Ian Hughes, told The Sunday Telegraph that the Foreign Office now warns tourists not to approach or take pictures of children without a relative's permission, as foreigners have been caught up in the backlash. In July, two Americans were beaten up after they were seen talking to a boy on a riverbank in Quiche.

The anguish suffered by Ana Escobar, 26, is a painful testimony that reports of baby- snatching are more than myth. [...]