HomeNewsBrief80% Guatemala Murders Take Place in 25 Municipalities: President
BRIEF

80% Guatemala Murders Take Place in 25 Municipalities: President

BARRIO 18 / 8 APR 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Over 80 percent of homicides in Guatemala take place in just 25 of the country's 334 municipalities, according to President Otto Perez Molina, highlighting the concentrated nature of the violence sweeping the country.

The violence ridden municipalities are spread across twelve of Guatemala's 22 departments, however, the highest number are found in the vicinity of Guatemala City, where 45 percent of murders take place, said Perez, referring to an unpublished report by state security institutions.

Perez claimed the report demonstrated the success of efforts to reduce violence, pointing to the 164 municipalities where there have been zero homicides so far this year. The president added the findings would help the government redirect forces to better focus on the country's violence hot spots.

Perez's figures are supported by a recent report by the Central American Business Intelligence group (CBAI), which found that in 2012, just under 80 percent of murders took place in 10 departments in Guatemala.

According to the report, the departments have an annual murder rate of 59 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the 12 other departments have a murder rate of only 13 per 100,000. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Both Perez's statistics and the CBAI report underscore a reality in Guatemala and El Salvador: that street gang violence is probably the major motor of homicides in those countries. As opposed to organized crime-related violence, which tends to be concentrated in specific areas of strategic advantage or territorial dispute, street gang violence is concentrated in urban areas where these groups have longstanding disputes with each other over territory where they extort businesses and individuals, and sell narcotics.

That is not to say organized crime is not at the heart of violent disputes. Numerous areas, in particular drug trafficking corridors along the borders, suffer very high rates of violence and other criminal activity such as car theft.  

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BARRIO 18 / 12 NOV 2014

In early 2014, a faction of El Salvador's Barrio 18 gang known at the Revolutionaries decided to kill one of their…

BARRIO 18 / 26 AUG 2015

El Salvador's top court has reclassified the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and Barrio 18 street gangs as terrorist organizations, in…

HOMICIDES / 18 DEC 2013

Mexico's national government claims homicides have dropped significantly during President Enrique Peña Nieto's first year. However, security analyst Alejandro Hope's*…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…