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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.

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The Leones' Revenge - How an Extortion Attempt Went Badly Wrong in Guatemala

NEWS / 25 MAY 2021

A settling of scores in Guatemala left at least eight people dead after the son of a long-dead druglord took revenge for the assassination of his wife, again proving how…

Guatemala Drops Charges Against Former President, Arrests Anti-Corruption Prosecutors

NEWS / 21 MAY 2021

Guatemala seems to have brushed aside international pressure to crack down on entrenched government corruption, as authorities dropped charges against an embattled former president on the same day they arrested…

Will US-Central America Relations Falter With Latest Corruption List?

NEWS / 18 MAY 2021

Though far from revelatory, a new list of officials the United States government suspects of corruption and drug trafficking in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras may further roil Washington's relationships…

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

EL SALVADOR / 11 MAY 2021

A new report suggests women are increasingly playing an active role in the extortion activities of Central American gangs -- part of a larger pattern in which women's roles in…

CONTRABAND / 30 APR 2021

A series of operations carried out by the Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office against networks dedicated to trafficking Mexican poultry, shed light on how poultry smuggling works in the border area.

ELITES AND CRIME / 28 APR 2021

US sanctions on two Guatemalan politicians -- one a political operator and the other an influential legislator -- are the latest salvo by Washington to show it is serious about…

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 APR 2021

Former Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales' dismantling of an anti-corruption commission has come back to haunt him -- as prosecutors are asking that he be stripped of immunity to then decide…

COCAINE / 13 APR 2021

The dismantling of a Costa Rican drug gang that worked with agents in an elite investigative unit to steal cocaine shipments from rival traffickers is yet another sign of the…

COCAINE / 12 MAR 2021

The extradition of a mayor threatens to topple his family’s decades-long political control of a coastal Pacific town -- a region where local officials have a history of drug trafficking.

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