Category: Violence

Securing the City: The Politics and Business of Postwar Security

Guatemala is experiencing a new economic stimulus: the security industry. The internal armed conflict may have ended more than a decade ago, but everyday life for many Guatemalans continues to be fraught with violence. The country has one of the highest homicide rates in the Americas (about seventeen murders per day) and one of the lowest rates of incarceration. The average criminal trial lasts more than four years …

Living Dangerously: Portraits of Daily Violence

Miguel Pinto is 10 years old and yet he talks weapons like a connoisseur. A motorcycle speeds by the car in which he is traveling and he notices that one of the two riders is carrying a big gun. ”Was that a Kalashnikov?” he asks eagerly. The adults in the car gasp, not only at the biker’s driving with what looks like a machine gun, but at the kind of knowledge that a 4th grader absorbs from living in Guatemala, one of the most violent …

A Key Player: Postcards from a Drug-Trafficking Country

News about drug trafficking is often associated with Mexico and Colombia. However, the countries in between also bear the brunt of the war waged among traffickers and against authorities to transport drugs to the United States. Guatemala is one of the hinges supporting the transactions between South Americans and Mexicans to move large shipments up north. It is also dubbed a favorite warehouse for drugs and a transit …

The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala: Undoing the Legacy of Violence and Corruption

On May 10, 2009 a prominent Guatemalan attorney, Rodrigo Rosenberg, was gunned down in broad daylight while riding his bicycle down a busy, tree-lined boulevard in a wealthy residential district of Guatemala City. But this wasn’t just another killing in a homicide-plagued country. On May 11, 2009, Guatemalan television aired a pre-recorded video in which Rosenberg declared, “If you are viewing this video, it is because I have …

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