HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Sees 3 Bus Drivers Murdered in Single Day
BRIEF

Guatemala Sees 3 Bus Drivers Murdered in Single Day

EXTORTION / 27 SEP 2012 BY CLAIRE O NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

Three bus drivers were shot to death in a single day in Guatemala, illustrating the threat that the country’s transport workers are under from criminal groups who demand extortion payments.

The first victim, Mario Augusto Salazar, was killed by three gunmen who were traveling as passengers in a bus he was driving between between two towns in southwestern Guatemala. Authorities are investigating whether he was killed for failing to pay extortion fees, reported La Prensa Libre.

The other two victims, drivers Dimas Mendez Rodas and Jose Angel Ramos Jimenez, were murdered by gunmen in the province of Jutiapa and in Guatemala City, respectively.

InSight Crime Analysis

Extortion of bus drivers by gangs and violent retribution for those who fail to pay are common in many parts of Latin America. In Medellin, six bus drivers have been killed this year, as the fragmentation of the city’s criminal groups means that transport workers are being pressured to make payments to multiple gangs on their routes through the city.

In Guatemala, extortion of bus drivers has become so endemic and violent that a 2011 InSight Crime investigation concluded that driving a bus in that country may be one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. According to Guatemala’s Human Rights Ombudsman, 1,368 people were murdered on public transport in the country between 2005 and 2011, 780 of whom were drivers.

Guatemala City is in the process of replacing its old buses with a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, whose vehicles are more secure and where drivers do not handle cash, in order to cut down on extortion of drivers and reduce violence. According to some sources, as of 2011 there had been no murders, armed robberies, or other violent incidents reported on the system since it opened in 2007, although this had not been confirmed by the authorities.

However, there has been opposition from some bus drivers. Earlier this week, the Extraurban Transport Union (Gretexpa) voted to oppose a government proposal to implement a prepaid system on all their buses, on the grounds that it would bring in more stringent regulations in terms of licensing, reported La Prensa Libre.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

EXTORTION / 23 MAR 2011

Drug trafficking is the single most lucrative activity for criminal groups in Mexico, but while the supply chain and production…

ELITES AND CRIME / 17 SEP 2013

Following the violent deaths of eight police in northwest Guatemala, the government began one of the biggest and most successful…

GUATEMALA / 31 AUG 2012

So far in 2012 Guatemala has seized 22 percent more chemicals used to produce drugs than in the same period…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…