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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

‘Viejo Santos’: The Decline of an MS13 Leader Wanted in the US

NEWS / 12 OCT 2022

US and Guatemalan authorities will tell you Moises Humberto Rivera Luna, alias "Viejo Santos," is a top member of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13). But is he?…

Extortion in Northern Triangle Worth Over $1 Billion Annually: Report

NEWS / 3 OCT 2022

Extortion in the Northern Triangle is predominantly done from prisons, yet prison populations have been on the rise.

Latin American Leaders Voice Security Concerns At United Nations General Assembly

NEWS / 23 SEP 2022

As world leaders met for the United Nations General Assembly, Latin American presidents expressed various concerns about organized crime.

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

BARRIO 18 / 14 SEP 2022

In the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico, Carlos was trained to become a ruthless soldier for the Cárteles Unidos.

ARGENTINA / 12 SEP 2022

Synthetic drugs like methamphetamine, fentanyl, and ecstasy are reshaping Latin America's drug trade.

GUATEMALA / 10 AUG 2022

Authorities in Guatemala have dismantled several human trafficking networks in a series of coordinated operations, shedding light on…

EXTRADITION / 8 AUG 2022

A US request has led Guatemala to dismantle a prolific human smuggling ring that smuggled migrants to the United States.

EL SALVADOR / 20 JUL 2022

The US government has added dozens of individuals to a list of allegedly corrupt actors in Central America.

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 19 JUL 2022

Amid El Salvador's brutal anti-gang crackdown, one top MS13 leader was escorted out of the country by a government official.

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