April 7, 2016 / 11:57 PM / 2 years ago

Guatemalans sentenced to up to 53 years for killing Argentine singer

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - A Guatemalan court on Thursday sentenced five men to terms of up to 53 years in prison for the 2011 killing of popular Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral.

Police officers escort Costa Rican Alejandro Jimenez Gonzalez (C), also known as "El Palidejo" one of five men charged in the 2011 murder of popular Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral as he arrives to listen to the verdict at a court room in Guatemala City, April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Josue Decavele

The troubadour died when his vehicle came under fire as he headed to the airport in Guatemala after performing at a concert. His music promoter, Henry Farina, was driving the car and was injured in the attack.

Farina, a Nicaraguan businessman, was later sentenced to 30 years in prison for drug trafficking, organized crime and money laundering. Authorities suspected Farina was the real target of the attack.

Two men were sentenced on Thursday to 53 years in prison for murder, attempted murder and trying to cover up the crime. The other three were given 50 years for murder and attempted murder.

Guatemala, one of the poorest countries in Latin America, has been ravaged by killings linked to organized crime and Mexican drug cartels that use the country as a major transshipment point for cocaine.

Cabral rose to fame in the 1970s as a protest singer and penned the well-known “No Soy De Aqui, Ni Soy De Alla,” (“I’m Not From Here, Nor From There”) later covered by many other artists including Julio Iglesias.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Writing by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Peter Cooney

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