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Guatemala: The War of Paz y Paz

Since Guatemala's Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz took the post in 2010, she has scored some major victories against organized crime, made important reforms to the country's judicial system, and received international support for her work. However, getting the position was not easy, and holding on to it has proved even harder, as ex military officials, politicians, elites and organized crime maneuver to remove her. Read whole series here. Download pdf here.

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The Revolution: Paz y Paz and her team have taken down local and international criminal organizations. She has also found an ally in the US government, which once stood against her interests. Read More The Victims: Paz y Paz's attempts to achieve retribution for civil war victims with the genocide trial of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt helped her international standing, but may be her political undoing. Read More Enemy of the State: In her bid at a second term in office, Paz y Paz faces powerful enemies, among them the shady businessman Gustavo Herrera (See: Portrait of a Guatemalan Political Broker).  Read More

Guatemala News

Guatemala Power Broker Under Investigation for Financial Crimes

Guatemala Power Broker Under Investigation for Financial Crimes

Press in Guatemala have confirmed one of the main players in appointing the country's new attorney general is under investigation for financial crimes after InSight Crime's report into the process revealed his central role and... 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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