Guatemala’s only out gay politician Aldo Dávila survived an attempted robbery by three men who attacked his car in broad daylight.
Congressman Dávila was approached by the men, who appear to have been armed, last Monday (19 April) as he was stopped at a traffic light in Guatemala City.
As a prominent gay, HIV-positive man in Guatemala – not to mention a vocal critic of president Alejandro Giammattei – Dávila is a frequent target of threats.
“This is the first attack that has happened to me,” he told the Associated Press. “I constantly receive threats for work but no more than that.”
It’s not clear whether the men deliberately targeted the congressman’s car or if it was just a random attack, but either way it seems they got more than they bargained for.
That’s because Aldo Dávila travels everywhere with several armed bodyguards – which the thieves soon figured out.
A surveillance video sent to the Washington Blade shows the three robbers rushing the car, with one of the men holding a bag covering what appears to be a gun.
As the men surround the vehicle and begin to strike the windows a shot is suddenly fired from inside the car and one of the assailants falls back into the street wounded.
The other robbers then flee the scene, leaving the injured man in the road as passersby and police officers gather around him.
Fortunately Dávila was uninjured and “thankful for life” after the attempted robbery.
“I’m fine, a little scared,” he told reporters. “They approached from various sides, I threw myself to the ground and my guards, fortunately, repelled the attack.”
In a video he posted to his Facebook page he vowed: “I will continue working, I will continue speaking out and I will continue speaking for people who have been historically excluded.”
Dávila told the Blade that the Guatemalan Public Ministry is responsible for any investigation into the incident.
“They would be the ones who would have to determine if there will be an investigation or not,” he said. “There should be one in theory, but the Public Ministry in Guatemala is not the best, or the most trustworthy [institution].”
The congressman added that he now travels with several police officers.