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Report Recommends Less Repressive Approach to Gang Problem in CentAm

Report Recommends Less Repressive Approach to Gang Problem in CentAm

A new report by a leading watchdog and policy group says that Central America's Northern Triangle governments should find a middle ground that balances the need for engaging with the region's violent street gangs, while still maintaining the rule of law and the governments' legitimacy.

Arrest of Top MS13 Gang Leader in Guatemala Highlights Cooperation

Arrest of Top MS13 Gang Leader in Guatemala Highlights Cooperation

The arrest in Guatemala of a high-ranking MS13 leader wanted by El Salvador's authorities illustrates how regional cooperation yields results, even while raising questions on how best to tackle the regional migration of the powerful gang members.

Mexico Ex-Governor Captured as PRI Tries to Clean Up Before Elections

Mexico Ex-Governor Captured as PRI Tries to Clean Up Before Elections

A former Mexican governor accused of ties with organized crime has been captured in Italy, a sign that Mexico's ruling PRI party could be trying to clean up its act ahead of presidential elections next year.

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

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

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...

The Zetas, Mexico’s most feared and violent criminal organization, have moved operations to Guatemala, penetrating local police forces and the military. They have made alliances with locals that permit them to launder their proceeds through agribusiness and public works contracts. They have also introduced a new way of operating. Beyond controlling the distribution chains and infrastructure needed to run the day-to-day operations, the Zetas are focused on controlling territory. In this they are the experts, creating a ruthless and intimidating force that is willing to take the fight to a new, often macabre level.