Panama and Guatemala have seen a sizeable increase in drug seizures through the first half of 2016, an indication of Central America's persistent importance as a trafficking route to the United States despite past predictions of an impending shift towards the Caribbean.
Shortly after Otto Pérez Molina was elected president of Guatemala, Byron Lima Oliva, the once-decorated former army captain, jailed for the murder of a bishop, sat down to write an email to the newly named minister of Interior, Mauricio López Bonilla.
On July 18, the day former Army Capt. Byron Lima -- Guatemala’s one-time “king” of the prison system -- was killed in an apparent squabble with another powerful inmate, his younger brother Luis Lima posted a video on his Facebook page.
The growing number of private security firms in Guatemala speaks to the state's inability to provide protection for its citizens, but this booming industry is vulnerable to criminal co-option and could generate security concerns of its own.