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


With more than a dozen suspects awaiting extradition to other countries, the director of the United Nations-backed anti-impunity body in…

COCA / 3 DEC 2019

Murders have spiked in a northern Colombia town that borders Venezuela, is home to armed groups, and has an abundance…


Record level homicides in Santa Fe, Argentina have prompted a reshuffling in the local security command along with a ban…

About InSight Crime


Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…


Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…


Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.


Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…


Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…