Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

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More Homicides News

  • Security Concerns Remain Despite Drop in Homicides in Honduras

    Homicides in Honduras have dropped considerably since peaking in 2011.

    Authorities in Honduras say that their fight against organized crime is responsible for the country's plateauing homicide rate, highlighting the complex interaction between hard-line security policies and levels of violence.*

  • What's Behind the Violence in Ecatepec, Mexico City's Sprawling Suburb?

    Ecatepec, a suburb of Mexico City, has seen rise in violence

    The Mexican government's recently released list of cities with the highest number of murders under President Enrique Peña Nieto's tenure includes one surprise entry: Ecatepec, the sprawling Mexico City suburb not known as a center of organized crime.

  • Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

    Olfato. It is a term used quite often in law enforcement and judicial circles in Central America (and other parts of the world as well). It refers to the sixth sense they have as they see a crime scene, investigate a murder or plow through the paperwork related to one. There is nothing scientific about olfato, yet it seems as if that is the guiding measure as it relates to determining this crucial question: What is behind the steady stream of homicides in Central America, or in this case, Guatemala?

  • Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

    When someone is murdered in Guatemala, police, forensic doctors and government prosecutors start making their way to the crime scene and a creaky, antiquated 20th century bureaucratic machine kicks into gear. Calls are made. Forms are filled out by hand, or typed into computers, or both. Some of these forms go into paper files. Others go into computer files. Some of them are summarized and sent to headquarters. Others remain at precinct or even sub-precinct level. As will become evident, much of it is quickly buried amidst a pile of papers that will literally fade with time, or within a computer file, which will most likely be erased or lost by the next person who has that job.

  • Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

    In the last decade, homicides in Guatemala have obeyed a fairly steady pattern. Guatemala City and some of its surrounding municipalities have the greatest sheer number of homicides. Other states, particularly along the eastern border have the highest homicide rates. Among these are the departments of Escuintla, Zacapa, and Chiquimula. The northern department of Petén, which encompasses nearly a third of the country's land mass, also routinely has some of the highest homicide rates.[1]

  • Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

    When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

  • Latin America Again Dominates World’s 50 Deadliest Cities Ranking

    Nearly all of the world's 50 most violent cities are located in Latin America

    Venezuela's capital Caracas has been ranked as the world's deadliest city for a second year in a row, while Latin America still dominates the annual list with 43 of the 50 most violent urban centers.

  • Weekly InSight: Mexico Violence, Money Laundering and Brazil-Paraguay Narco War

    In our March 30 Facebook Live session, Senior Investigator Deborah Bonello and Senior Editor Mike LaSusa discussed some of the main stories that we covered this week: a wave of recent violence against journalists in Mexico, the importance of tackling illicit financial flows in the fight against organized crime, and a brewing narco war on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.

  • Organized Crime Behind Spiking Homicides in Mexico’s Most Violent Municipalities

    A homicide scene in Colima

    Mexico's security strategy for its 50 most violent municipalities has largely failed to bear fruit after six months, as criminal dynamics are still fueling increasing rates of homicides despite targeted government efforts.

  • Shadow of Organized Crime Hovers over Wave of Mexico Journalist Killings

    Cecilio Pineda Brito, the first of three Mexican journalists killed this month

    The murder of a Chihuahua-based correspondent marks the third killing of a journalist in Mexico this month, a wave of targeted violence for which organized crime may be responsible that also reflects more general trends of rising insecurity.