Four French tourists, including a six-year-old child, are missing in the jungles of northern Guatemala, near the borders with Mexico and Belize, authorities in the Central American country said Friday.

The tourists, members of the same family, were last seen on Wednesday in the Tikal National Park in the Peten region. They are two women aged 40 and 68, a 41-year-old man and a 6-year-old boy.

The park of Tikal is the main archaeological site of the Mayan civilization in Guatemala and is about 500 kilometers from the capital. It has imposing pyramids and temples and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. However, it is located in an isolated area where drug-trafficking gangs operate.

In early January 2022, a German tourist was found dead in the same park, two days after he went missing in the area. The 53-year-old man had become separated from the group he was visiting the park with to explore some other trails at the archaeological site.

In 2001 many tourists, American and European, were attacked by armed masked men who killed a ranger when he tried to defend them.

Guatemala, a country of 18 million people, has been plagued for decades by organized crime, corruption and poverty. It is one of the most violent regions of the American continent, where last year there were 17.3 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, according to UN data.

At least half of these homicides are attributed to gangs (“maras”) and drug traffickers.