HomeNewsBrief‘Guatemalan Extortion Ring’ Kills 3 Transport Workers

‘Guatemalan Extortion Ring’ Kills 3 Transport Workers


Three bus company employees in Guatemala City were killed by alleged gang members running extortion rackets, highlighting the dangers gangs pose to transport workers throughout the region.

The three men were killed in two separate incidents on July 25. Bus drivers Julio Rivera Lucero and Eder Ramirez were gunned down in the south of the capital by suspected gang members while Juan Jose Godinez, an employee of an intercity bus company, was shot by two men on a motorcycle, reported EFE.

Rivera reportedly organized a recent protest against the inaction of authorities against gangs extorting transit workers in Guatemala City.

According to EFE, the head of Guatemala’s anti-extortion task force, created in January, announced that 158 people have been arrested on suspicion of extortion this year.

InSight Crime Analysis

A 2011 InSight Crime investigation highlighted the danger Guatemala’s transit workers face from gangs trying to extort them. Between 2007 and 2011, some 500 bus drivers were killed in the country, meaning that they have one of the more dangerous professions in the world. In a number of cases these extorting rings were operated from prisons by incarcerated gang bosses. It is estimated that the racket can earn them thousands of dollars a week.

In June, Guatemalan authorities arrested seven people alleged to have extorted $500,000 over the past four years from Guatemala City bus drivers.

The phenomenon is not confined to Guatemala. Transit workers in El Salvador last year organized a strike to demand a crackdown on extortion rackets operating in the city of San Salvador, while the Honduran government launched special operations in March against the extortion of bus drivers.

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

CARSI / 4 FEB 2015

The US State Department has allocated most of its $1 billion request for aid to Central America towards development assistance,…


The arrest of six women in Mexico over an alleged child trafficking ring is a reminder of the potential for…

BRAZIL / 27 MAR 2018

A new report says that a lack of regulation of private security companies in Latin America is having negative impacts…

About InSight Crime


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.


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


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…


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…


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. …


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


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…