Guatemala president to pull army out of law enforcement

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala’s president says he will withdraw army troops from day-to-day law enforcement duties following accusations that soldiers were involved in corruption and criminal activities.

President Jimmy Morales said Wednesday that starting March 31, soldiers will be detailed to secure border areas and other strategic points.

Successive administrations have kept the military on the streets, saying they were needed to fight well-armed gangs and drug cartels.

Critics have long said the army’s role in policing violated the 1996 peace accords that put an end to 36 years of civil war.

Army officers have been put on trial for directing brutal counter-insurgency campaigns between 1960 and 1996.