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Guatemala

Guatemala's criminal organizations are among the most sophisticated and dangerous in Central America. Some of them have been in operation for decades. They include former members of the military, intelligence agencies and active members of the police.

Latest News

Jalisco Cartel Sets Off Alarm Bells Along Mexico-Guatemala Border

NEWS / 23 SEP 2021

The Jalisco Cartel New Generation, which has rapidly expanded to become Mexico's greatest criminal threat, may now be spreading its influence in a new area: the border with Guatemala.

Guatemala's Former Top Anti-Graft Prosecutor Decries Arrest Warrant

NEWS / 3 SEP 2021

A Guatemalan court has issued an arrest warrant for exiled anti-corruption prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval, ending any chance that he will soon return to Guatemala and resume his former work…

Chinese Broker Laundered Latin American Drug Money Around the World

NEWS / 10 AUG 2021

The leader of a transnational money laundering network cleaned drug money through a scheme that included casinos, a seafood export business and Chinese bank accounts.

Guatemala Profile

Criminal Actors

Armed Groups

Guatemala’s multitude of criminal groups range from violent street gangs to trafficking groups that serve as intermediaries for Colombian and Mexican cartels. The violent MS13 and Barrio 18 gangs both have a foothold in the country, controlling extortion activities in Guatemala City’s urban neighborhoods. Long-time smuggling groups also have operations in the country’s porous border regions. These groups often have links to corrupt officials, ranging from local politicians to high-level security and government officials.

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Investigations

News

ELITES AND CRIME / 5 AUG 2021

Before the firing of Juan Francisco Sandoval, Guatemala’s top anti-corruption prosecutor, Attorney General Consuelo Porras pressured him to curtail investigations while his unit probed accusations of corruption in Porras' office.

COCAINE / 3 AUG 2021

An anti-narcotics operation in western Guatemala has shed further light on how families involved in local politics can play a pivotal role in the regional cocaine trade.

ELITES AND CRIME / 25 JUL 2021

The dismissal of Juan Francisco Sandoval, Guatemala's leading anti-corruption prosecutor who has since fled the country, has drawn condemnation at home and abroad.

COCAINE / 15 JUL 2021

The murder of a prominent folk singer in Guatemala thrust a Nicaraguan nightclub owner into the spotlight and revealed an illicit drug trafficking network that stretched from Colombia to Mexico.

COCAINE / 8 JUL 2021

A US investigation has shed light on the alleged participation of Guatemalan soldiers in a cocaine smuggling network linked to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, a reminder of the pivotal role the…

EL SALVADOR / 5 JUL 2021

The United States has released a highly-anticipated report on corrupt actors in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, but the lack of clear criteria for those placed on the list may…

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