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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

Panic Over Gang Exodus from El Salvador, But Few Arrested

NEWS / 2 JUN 2022

Since El Salvador's government began a campaign of mass arrests two months ago in a gang crackdown, fewer than 60 suspected gang members fleeing the country have been arrested in…

Controversial Attorney General Outlasts Guatemala's Anti-Corruption Efforts

NEWS / 18 MAY 2022

Guatemala has reappointed Attorney General Consuelo Porras for a second term despite her track record as a shield for top Guatemalan elites against anti-corruption investigations. Her nomination marks a disheartening…

The Jalisco Cartel's Quiet Expansion in Guatemala

NEWS / 18 MAY 2022

Early investigations indicate the CJNG is striking partnerships with drug rings in Guatemala that receive shipments of cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela and deliver them to the cartel.

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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News

CONTRABAND / 18 MAY 2022

Cattle from Mexico and the Central American nations of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua help feed the domestic beef markets of each of these countries. The processed byproducts of some of…

CONTRABAND / 18 MAY 2022

Ranchers from Mexico's eastern state of Veracruz know a way to buy cheap cattle: Drive to a remote part of the Chiapas-Guatemala border and purchase cows being brought illegally across…

BRAZIL / 24 MAR 2022

The 2021 ranking of the world's most violent cities predictably features a heavy presence by Latin American and Caribbean population centers. The top eight are all in Mexico and the…

COCAINE / 23 MAR 2022

The United States government has ramped up its pursuit of one of Guatemala’s most enduring drug clans – the so-called “Huistas.”…

COCAINE / 10 MAR 2022

The recent assassination of a former drug lord's grandson may stem from disputes between members of a family clan already rocked by arrests and extraditions.

ELITES AND CRIME / 23 FEB 2022

With cries of corruption mounting against Guatemala’s president, the country’s Attorney General has taken minimal action and instead ramped up her crackdown on prosecutors investigating high-level graft.

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