Israeli tourist raped in Guatemala

An Israeli tourist was raped outside of a popular destination in Guatemala.

The victim, who was attacked on Saturday, is recovering and planning to return home, Israeli Ambassador to Guatemala Isaac Bachman told JTA on Monday.

The 37 year-old woman and her long-time boyfriend had been in the country for two weeks on vacation when the private shuttle bus they were riding in was stopped on a secondary road outside of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Antigua. In addition to the rape, the couple was robbed, as were two tourists initially identified as Australians who were also traveling in the same shuttle.

“She is in good condition given the circumstances,”  Bachman said, adding that the attack is part of the Central American country’s ongoing crime problem, with the assailants likely unaware of their victims’ nationalities.

Tourists in the country regularly use private van shuttles to travel to the most popular tourist attractions, forgoing the country’s public transit service and its poor safety record. In recent months, Guatemalan police report two other shuttles had been robbed along the same road – the main link between Antigua and the popular highlands resorts at Lake Atitlan – without any serious injuries.

No arrests have been made, although Guatemalan police have vowed to investigate the crime. Guatemala has a poor record of resolving crimes against foreigners.

Bachman said the woman and her boyfriend will cut short their vacation, which was to have included at least one other country in Central America, and return home.

Guatemala has seen its tourism industry stagnate in recent years amid increasing concerns over its increasingly violent crime rate. While often the victims of petty crime, tourists are rarely the targets of violent crime in the country.

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