HomeNoticiasPoultrygeist - How Mexican Chickens Are Smuggled into Guatemala
NEWS

Poultrygeist - How Mexican Chickens Are Smuggled into Guatemala

CONTRABAND / 30 APR 2021 BY MARIA FERNANDA RAMIREZ EN

While contraband flowing between Guatemala and Mexico is not out of the ordinary, authorities have targeted networks dedicated to an unusual tactic - the smuggling of chickens.

In late April, Guatemalan police carried out a series of 33 raids in the southwestern municipalities of Catarina, Pajapita and Ayutla in the department of San Marcos, and in Coatepeque, in the department of Quetzaltenango, all in the southwestern part of the country bordering Mexico.

The operations were part of the Polleros” investigation, a colloquial term referring to both chicken farmers and smugglers, and resulted in the arrests of 21 individuals, including three police officials, Prensa Libre reported.

SEE ALSO: Uruguay Takes On Multi-Million Dollar Chicken Smuggling Trade

The Attorney General’s Office found two criminal networks that smuggled poultry from Mexico to Guatemala were operating in San Marcos and Quetzaltenango, including one led by a Turkish national, Murat Ali Gürakan.

Poultry smuggling has robbed the State of around 2 million quetzales (approximately $260,000), according to an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, although it did not specify in which timeframe this occurred.

InSight Crime Analysis

Given the range of criminal economies that exist between Guatemala and Mexico, poultry smuggling could easily be overlooked but it remains a lucrative business.

Mexican chickens and eggs are smuggled into Guatemala via remote areas and blind spots along the Suchiate River that runs along part of the border, according to press reports.

And these are brought into the country mostly without adequate health measures in place. Mexican birds should be quarantined to prevent avian flu outbreaks, according to government regulations.

SEE ALSO: Inside Guatemala’s Animal Trafficking Trade

Shipments of illicit chickens and eggs are also sometimes mixed with legal cargo, thus becoming "laundered" and entering Guatemala legally, which makes it more difficult for authorities to act.

And even if these goods are caught, Guatemala's law against illegal contraband specifies that smugglers will only be prosecuted if the "value of the merchandise is equal to or higher than $3,000."

Authorities explained that smugglers often only bring illegal products across in small quantities to sidestep this technicality.

Mexican poultry products are popular in Guatemala due to their size and low price. Guatemalan authorities reported in 2019 that while Mexican chickens weigh an average of 3.5 kilograms, Guatemalan chickens only weigh 2.2 kilograms on average.

Meanwhile, according to Julio Cordón, the director of Guatemala's National Avicultural Health Program (Programa Nacional de Sanidad Avícola - Prosa), eggs from Mexico can be sold for as much as 50 percent more than their local counterparts on Guatemalan markets.

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.

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

HUMAN RIGHTS / 6 OCT 2015

Charges have been dropped against four soldiers in the 2014 Tlatlaya massacre, in which Mexico’s military allegedly executed 22 individuals…

DRUG POLICY / 11 NOV 2010

Officials in Mexico have announced that they will continue their current counter-narcotic strategy, regardless of the status of…

FENTANYL / 14 APR 2021

Seizures of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl by customs agents in the United States have skyrocketed nationwide, underscoring potential shifts…

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…