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Gunmen Kill Guatemalan Judge

April 26, 2005

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ Gunmen killed a judge who ruled on drug smuggling cases, shooting him Monday as he left his home for work.

Witnesses said three men approached Jose Victor Bautista Orozco, 52, and fired at close range in the city of San Pedro Sacatepequez, 160 miles west of Guatemala City, police said. Officials said he was hit by several bullets.

Bautista had been promoted a month ago to serve on a court that deals with major crimes _ drug trafficking, homicides and kidnappings.

He was the only judge on the court who did not have bodyguards, because he did not feel threatened, said Chief Justice Luis Fernandez of the country’s Supreme Court.

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