HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Murders Up 8% in 2013, Bucking Downward Trend

Guatemala Murders Up 8% in 2013, Bucking Downward Trend


Guatemala has recorded more than 1,000 homicides in the first two months of 2013, a rise of 8 percent compared to the same period last year, which contrasts with the general downward trend of murders in the country.

According to Guatemala’s forensic institute (INACF), there were a total of 1,036 murders in January and February, 83 more cases than in the first two months of 2012.

President Otto Perez, however, said that though murders had been on the rise in the first 45 days of the year, they had started to decline in the last 13 days, as operations by the authorities had started to have an effect, reported elPeriodico.

InSight Analysis

The government, police and the INACF have been known to release contradictory homicide figures for Guatemala, but despite inconsistencies the overall trend has been downward for the last three years.

Whether the murder rate goes up or down over the course of the year, it is likely to remain one of the highest in the world. Guatemala’s increasing importance on the cocaine route from Colombia to the United States has driven up crime levels. Perez said that 22 percent of killing were due to organized crime, and another 21 percent to street gangs.

The presence of Mexican cartels in the country, now firmly established, has increased violence. A map of homicides in Guatemala depicts a large concentration of killings in the southwest, which may point to spillover violence from Honduras.

Compounding these issues are a corrupt police force and weak justice system which have resulted in widespread impunity.

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.


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.


Related Content


Homicides in El Salvador have risen by nearly 70 percent in the first half of 2014 as the country's gang…


When former comedian Jimmy Morales was elected as Guatemala's president as the candidate for the Frente de Convergencia Nacional (FCN)…

BARRIO 18 / 3 JAN 2013

The two principal Mara gangs in Guatemala, Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18, have been reorganizing themselves under more centralized leadership,…

About InSight Crime


InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…


InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.


Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…


Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.


Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…