July 12, 2011 / 3:18 PM / 8 years ago

Guatemalans arrested for murder of Argentine singer

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Police arrested two men on Tuesday suspected of murdering Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral in Guatemala as part of a plot by organized crime gangs to kill his music promoter.

The two Guatemalans, Elgin Vargas and Wilfred Stokes, were accused of opening fire on a car carrying 74-year-old Facundo Cabral, who sang protest songs famous across Latin America, as he headed to the airport on Saturday after a concert in Guatemala City.

Cabral’s music promoter Henry Farina, a Nicaraguan businessman who owns a chain of strip clubs, was the target of the attack, said Guatemala Interior Minister Carlos Menocal.

Farina, who was driving the car at the time of the shooting, was badly injured and is still in critical condition the hospital.

“One (of the killers) is the head of a band of assassins,” Attorney General Claudia Paz told reporters. “He put together this group to commit murders.”

The two men were caught on tape by security cameras at Cabral’s hotel and also along the highway on the way to the airport.

President Alvaro Colom has said organized crime gangs were behind the hit.

The motive for the attack was not yet clear, authorities said, although they believe the criminal mastermind is likely a foreigner from elsewhere in Central America.

Guatemala is one of the most violent countries in the hemisphere and is a major transshipment point for drug traffickers.

Cabral’s body was sent home to his Argentina as fans and Latin American politicians expressed sadness over his death.

Reporting by Mike McDonald

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