HomeNewsBriefHitmen, Thieves Teaming Up in Kidnap Gangs: Guatemala

Hitmen, Thieves Teaming Up in Kidnap Gangs: Guatemala


Seven members of a Guatemalan kidnapping gang known as the Pujujiles have received prison sentences of between 100 and 376 years each, while authorities warn of the rise of new criminal alliances behind an increase in abductions.

Prosecutor Rony Lopez of the Public Ministry said that the heavy sentences were intended to act as a deterrent against kidnapping.

The men were found guilty of 10 kidnappings, with 34 victims in total, reports Prensa Libre. Six of the victims were murdered when the ransom was not paid, and their bodies buried in wasteland areas.

The group apparently used the same method for all 10 kidnappings, intercepting vehicles on the Pan-American Highway near Los Encuentros, Solola, and hiding victims in the mountains until a ransom was paid.

InSight Crime Analysis

Prensa Libre reports that kidnappings are on the rise in Guatemala, particularly in the east, west and central regions, with 35 cases reported in the last two months. Investigators have attributed the increase to car thieves joining up with extortionists and hitmen to form bands of kidnappers, according to the newspaper.

Last month saw the creation of several task forces by new President Otto Perez, one for kidnapping and others addressing car theft, extortion, femicide, and “sicarios”, or assassins, amongst other issues. With the news that these criminal groups may be joining forces to carry out kidnapping operations, it remains to be seen how the newly created task forces will tackle the problem.

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

BARRIO 18 / 29 JAN 2021

It was one of Alejandro Giammattei’s most emphatic promises. One year later, the Interior Ministry supported his strategy to reduce…


The United Nations expressed concern about the murders of prosecutors in Guatemala and Honduras less than a week apart, in…

BARRIO 18 / 9 MAY 2013

Statistics show that for the first time since 2009, homicides have begun to climb at a steady pace in Guatemala,…

About InSight Crime


Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…


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,…


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…


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…


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…