U.S. students testify in Guatemala rape trial

Two college students from the United States testified in a rape trial that began yesterday, identifying three of the men they say attacked and raped them while on a tour of Guatemala last year.

The students were among five women raped after their bus was raided by seven armed men on a highway. The women were passengers on a tour bus carrying 13 students and three faculty members from St. Mary's College of Maryland. They were on a cultural study tour.

"The victims fully identified all three of the accused in the courtroom and even pointed out which two were the rapists and which had been the robber," the state prosecutor told reporters.

The accused are Cosby Urias, a 37-year-old labourer; Rony Polanco, a 25-year-old driver; and Reyes Guch Ventura, a 25-year-old peddler.

Reporters were ordered out of the courtroom during the students' testimony. However, reporters outside could hear the testimony from the courtroom.

Reuters says the students described how the men forced the bus off the highway, drove to a sugar cane field, robbed the passengers, then took five of the women, one at a time, and raped them.