Argentine folksinger Facundo Cabral assassinated in Guatemala

Famed Argentine folksinger Facundo Cabral was shot to death early July 9 by unknown gunmen who ambushed his car on the way to the airport in Guatemala City. A total of eight bullets struck Cabral and his Nicaraguan concert promoter Henry Fariña. The singer’s white Range Rover and a Chevrolet Tahoe carrying his bodyguards attempted to seek cover in a fire station. A firefighter witnessed gunfire from two black vehicles. Initial claims that the attack was an armed robbery have now been dropped; there is some speculation that Fariña, who survived, was the actual target of the attack. Authorities said one of the attackers’ vehicles, pock-marked with bullet-holes and strewn with casings, has been located in El Salvador. Cabral, 74, rose to fame in the 1970s, an icon of protest music in an era of harsh repression across Latin America. Guatemala’s President Alvaro Colom personally called his Argentine counterpart, Cristina Fernandez, to tell her of the slaying. (NDTV, LAT, La Republica, Lima, July 10; ThirdAge, July 9)

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  1. Rigoberta Menchú: “fascist” conspiracy on Facundo Cabral
    Rigoberta Menchú, the Guatemalan indigenous leader who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992, dismissed the notion that Facundo Cabral was not the intended target of the ambush, telling the New York Times, “I can’t help but think he was assassinated for his ideals.”

    Menchú told Colombia’s RCN Radio the killing “was planned and ordered.” In a reference to the civil war and genocide in the country a generation ago, she added: “We cannot forget that in Guatemala there is an internal armed conflict… There are many people here who are fascists, and I believe the past is present.”