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Special interest groups have co-opted Guatemala's justice system and blocked the efforts of those trying to clean things up. InSight Crime investigates the backroom players who are pulling strings in favor of these elites.

cortesguatemala1Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

cortesguatemala1The 'Tennis Shoe King' Who Became Guatemala's Gentleman Lobbyist


 

Guatemala News

Phone Calls Illustrate Power of Guatemalan Ex-Army Officer

Phone Calls Illustrate Power of Guatemalan Ex-Army Officer

As the trial begins of a Guatemalan ex-military officer accused of running a bribery ring from prison, where he is serving a sentence for a high-profile murder, phone recordings presented as evidence provide an inside... Read more

Guatemala Country Profile

Guatemala’s criminal organizations are the most sophisticated and dangerous in Central America. Some of them have been in operation for decades. They include former members of the military, intelligence agencies and active members of the police.

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Barrio 18 (M-18)

Barrio 18 (M-18)

The 18th Street Gang, also known as "Barrio 18" or the "M-18," is one of... Read more

MS13

MS13

The Mara Salvatrucha, or MS13, is perhaps the most notorious street gang in the Western... Read more

CIACS

CIACS

Guatemala's 40-year civil war laid the groundwork for many criminal organizations, including several that spawned... Read more

Sinaloa Cartel Guatemala

Sinaloa Cartel Guatemala

The Sinaloa Cartel, often described as the largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization in... Read more

Zetas Guatemala

Zetas Guatemala

The Zetas, once the military wing of the Gulf Cartel, is now among one of... Read more

Lorenzanas

Lorenzanas

The Lorenzanas are a traditional contraband family, who, over time, became enmeshed in the lucrative... Read more

Mendozas

Mendozas

Based in Guatemala's northern-most province of Peten, the Mendozas mainly ran contraband before becoming one... Read more

Leones

Leones

The Leones, who operate along the Eastern border with Honduras and El Salvador, were car... Read more

Walther Overdick

Walther Overdick

Horst Walther Overdick, alias “El Tigre,” was one of the biggest drug traffickers in Guatemala.... Read more

Juan Chamale

Juan Chamale

Until his arrest in March 2011, Juan Alberto Ortiz Lopez, alias "Juan Chamale," was ranked... Read more

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