Six killed in crash of small plane in Guatemala

A small plane crashed in Guatemala, killing all six people onboard, and authorities said Saturday they are probing a possible link to drug trafficking.

The plane went down Friday in a rural area of western Guatemala and was carrying five Mexicans and a Venezuelan.

The incident is suspicious because the aircraft crashed in an area where poppy plants used to make heroin are grown, attorney general Mauricio Lopez said, according to the newspaper El Periodico.

Furthermore, authorities found a pistol and cash amid the remains of the plane, he said.

Police surrounded the crash site but local people have slipped through and looted items from the victims, news reports said.

The plane had not been detected by Guatemalan aviation radar screens and police are working with Mexican counterparts to try to determine its flight plan.

Ruthless and powerful Mexican drug cartels have expanded operations into Central America and rely on local crime gangs for help in transporting narcotics.