Guatemalan president declares state of alert in two municipalities

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – New Guatemalan president Alejandro Giammattei on Friday declared a state of alert in two municipalities on the fringe of Guatemala City that have been plagued by gang violence, underlining his pledge to get tough on crime.

In a televised address three days after taking office, Giammattei gave the order imposing certain civil restrictions on the municipalities of Mixco and San Juan Sacatepequez on the west and northwest of the capital.

“From today on, we will relentlessly pursue, 24 hours a day, all the criminals who have had us on our knees,” he said.

In his inaugural address this week, Giammattei vowed to put forward a law that designated street gangs as terrorist groups.

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Editing by Kevin Liffey)