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Missionaries Kidnapped in Guatemala

June 29, 1998

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ Heavily armed gunmen kidnapped 13 foreign missionaries Monday on a remote ranch in northern Guatemala.

National Police Chief Angel Conte Cojulun said the missionaries were Swiss, but officials at the Swiss Embassy in Guatemala City said they could not confirm their nationality.

One of the missionaries was released to pass on the kidnappers’ demands of $334,000 for the safe release of the others, Conte said. The whereabouts and condition of the other hostages were unknown.

The missionaries were seized by eight unidentified men at a ranch near the town of Sayaxche, about 150 miles north of the capital, said Felix Flores Diaz, police chief of the nearby town of Flores.

The missionaries were with a group called Nueva Vida, he said. No other details were available.