HomeNewsBrief‘Guatemala Anti-Drug Operations Force Refugees into Mexico’
BRIEF

'Guatemala Anti-Drug Operations Force Refugees into Mexico'

GUATEMALA / 31 AUG 2011 BY HANNAH STONE EN

A community of at least 200 people in north Guatemala has sought refuge over the border in Mexico, after their village was allegedly torched in a government operation against drug trafficking.

The 90 families are from the village of Nueva Esperanza in the north Guatemalan province of Peten, less than a kilometer from the border with Mexico.

The group was displaced by a Guatemalan security forces operation that took place on August 23, which forced them to cross into the southern Mexican state of Tabasco, according to reports.

The Guatemalans said the authorities had accused them of working with drug traffickers, which they deny, and had burnt their houses.

Guatemala's government imposed a "state of siege" on Peten after the massacre of 27 farm laborers in the province in May. This gives the army temporary control of the province, and allows them to detain people and search houses without a warrant.

The government has cited a drop in the murder rate as evidence this is working, but the story of these villagers seems to illustrate a problem with using the army in a law enforcement role -- the risk of excessive force being used against civilians.

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

MERIDA INITIATIVE / 3 MAR 2011

With Mexico’s drug violence breaking records, a number of United States-based security companies are expanding operations in the country. Although many…

HEROIN / 18 NOV 2016

In addition to potentially scuttling his chances of securing a top job with the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald…

MEXICO / 14 MAR 2012

The Zetas forced one of their henchmen to surrender to the authorities after killing a US agent last year, in…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.