HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Points to Security Gains Under Perez
BRIEF

Guatemala Points to Security Gains Under Perez

GUATEMALA / 18 DEC 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Law enforcement special task forces in Guatemala claimed credit for breaking up dozens of low-level gangs and reducing homicides by about 10 percent in 2012, an announcement that will likely form part of a year-end push to highlight the security gains made under President Otto Perez. 

The Ministry of Government, which oversees the police force, said that the task forces dismantled 85 gangs and arrested 2,202 people between January and November of this year. The gangs were dedicated to criminal activities like extortion, cell phone and car theft, and acting as killers-for-hire, as Prensa Libre reports

The law enforcement task forces that answer to the Ministry of Government include an anti-extortion unit, an anti-kidnapping unit, and a unit that focuses on homicides and hired killings. 

The head of one task force created this year, dedicated to reducing Guatemala's femicide rates, told Prensa Libre that it had dismantled a total of eight criminal organizations that have committed femicides. The task force had previously claimed credit for putting the country on track for a 10 percent drop in female murders compared to 2011. 

Another special Ministry of Government and police task force created this year, dedicated to combating cell phone theft, reports arresting 73 people and seizing 3,419 stolen cell phones between January and November 2012. 

InSight Crime Analysis

By pointing to the achievements of its special task forces, the Ministry of Government is contributing to the larger argument that Guatemala has seen some significant security gains during the first year of President Otto Perez's administration. Police said that homicides have dropped some 10 percent compared to last year, with a total of 5,276 homicides registered between January and November, compared to a total of 5,886 murders registered for all of 2011. This continues a steady decline in murder rates that first began under President Alvaro Colom. 

The fact that Guatemala's law enforcement claims to have arrested more than 2,000 people so far in 2012 is a poor marker of progress. The number of arrests is less significant than the number of suspected lawbreakers who actually face just and efficient trials. In that area, Guatemala's institutions have also pointed to some progress. Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz said that impunity in court cases has dropped from 90 percent to 70 percent, with 5,941 convictions secured this year, compared to 5,215 in 2011. it is still a high number, but it would seem in this respect that Guatemala is moving in the right direction.

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.

Tags

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

COLOMBIA / 13 APR 2020

Women’s participation in organized crime groups is not uniform. The diverse roles that women play in criminal economies allow us…

ELITES AND CRIME / 13 JAN 2017

A Supreme Court magistrate in Guatemala has allegedly pressured a judge handling her son's case, leading the latter official to…

GUATEMALA / 19 MAY 2011

In the wake of a massacre in northern Guatemala, observers have been left with the question of why the Zetas…

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…