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  • Jose Arturo Sierra, former president of Guatemala

    Jose Arturo Sierra, former president of Guatemala's Supreme Court, was travelling in his car when he was shot dead by unknown assailants. | Photo: Twitter @amilcarmontejo

Published 26 January 2018

Jose Arturo Sierra, a retired lawyer and judge, was murdered on Friday by unkown assailants while travelling in his car through Guatemala City.

Jose Arturo Sierra, the 72-year-old former president of Guatemala's Supreme Court, has been assasinated while in his car in the country's capital city.


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Sierra was shot to death while traveling in a private car in Guatemala City's Zone 11. He was taken by local firefighters to Roosevelt Hospital, but died on the way.

Witnesses say Sierra was attacked by two armed assailants riding a motorcycle, but it's unkown the assassination was planned. Unconfirmed reports suggest he was shot up to seven times.

It's also unclear whether the attack was politically motivated, because Sierra had retired from his position as the head of the Supreme Court.

His murder is now being investigated by the The National Civic Police (PNC) and the Public Ministry (MP).

The Judicial Organism (OJ) expressed its condolences to Sierra's family in a press release, saying: "This act adds to the generalized violence in our country." 

The International Comission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) also condemned the assassination and offered its condolences.

The victim's sister, Marta Sierra de Stalling, was accused by the MP and the CICIG of passive brivery in a 2015 corruption scandal, but the case was closed in 2017 for lack of evidence.

Jose Arturo Sierra was a judge and magistrate at the Constitutional Court between 1996 and 2001. In 2013, he led the CSJ for 10 months after the court failed to elect a president for more than two months due to a disagreement between magistrates.

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