A Bell 206 helicopter belonging to Guatemala’s Air Force crashed in a wooded mountainous area of the western province of Huehuetenango in Guatemala, on August 20.
The Interior Secretary Mauricio Lopez confirmed that Gen. Rudy Ortiz, the head of the Guatemalan military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as 4 other military officers died in the crash. Gen. Braulio Mayen, commander of the army’s 5th Brigade, was one of the other victims identified by Lopez.
The accident happened when the high level military officials were flying to the village of Ixquisis to inspect the troops. “They couldn’t land in Ixquisis and instead decided to go to the military base in Las Palmas and in that trajectory the helicopter crashed,” Lopez added.
Ortiz, 51, was due to retire next year after serving the army for 32 years. President Otto Perez Moline, a retired general, expressed his grief over Ortiz’s death and said, “His hard work and dedication during his military career served to strengthen the institution.”
The cause of the accident is under investigation.