Industrials in Guatemala Demand Security

The Chamber of Industry (IGC) has released an open letter to the president who was asked to assume responsibility for violence in the country.

Friday, October 29, 2010

President Colom

• When you took over as President of the Republic, you accepted to MEET AND ENFORCE THE CONSTITUTION

• You promised Guatemalans you would take command of the armed forces and take command of all national forces.

• Today, members of Chamber of Industry of Guatemala, and thousands of Guatemalan citizens, ask that you:

- Assume personally and publicly command and direction of Guatemala´s security and
- To issue a decree stating as priority of his government national security and therefore assume its responsibility.

We think it’s worth reminding you, Mr. President, the election promises you made us about Guatemalan peace and security:

• That through so much pain and violence, you would face e violence with inteligence
• That you would face organized crime and rescue the country, because we deserve to live in peace
• That you would strengthen the judicial system to ensure prisons for criminals to be tried and punished
• That you had a government plan that would ensure peace and security


We, like thousands of Guatemalans, are extremely concerned about the government's inability to provide security to its citizens.

The Chamber of Industry of Guatemala is a proactive institution and therefore also to expresses concern, today we make the following proposals to the President of Guatemala to act firmly and promptly:

1) Declaring a state of emergency in the areas identified as Red Zones in the country:

a. Making the country's Red Zones public, based on information from the Ministry of Interior and other sources which have conducted studies on the subject.
b. Regaining control of prisons, eliminating prisoner´s mobile phones, among other actions.
c. Proceed effectively and efficiently to disrupt criminal gangs and reduce criminal activity.

2) Use Multi-Sector Forces (National Civil Police, Municipal Traffic Police, Army, Directorate General Health and Safety, Superintendence of Tax Administration, etc.) in order to determine pockets of crime and close premises when evidence of illegal activities.

3) Use combined forces (Army and National Police) and create a Rapid Reaction Forces in the streets of major cities and those with higher crime rates and creating Rapid Response Platoons in different parts of the country, generating safe areas.

4) Implement security presence in the national public transport system:

a. Coordinating with the various municipalities to:
i. Establish procedures to protect users of public and freight transport
ii. Reorder and implement security measures at bus stops

5) Create a High Level Force to combat organized crime.

a. Requesting support in equipment and technology to the United States Government, since in Guatemala we have trained and capable officials who can dismantle criminal gangs.

6) Enable a complaints center through a private telephone system

a. Implementing a system which will connect with public institutions responsible for security and immediate action can be taken following complaint.

7) Put cameras in all municipalities in the country as a mechanism to help counter insecurity

a. Starting in the Department of Guatemala, as a first step.
b. Expanding the coverage of security cameras to all municipalities.
c. In coordination with municipalities, the support of private surveillance systems using cameras.
d. The industrial sector will not hesitate in providing to Guatemalans the technology it has to meet the challenge.

8) Stop creating more Plans and Planning Commissions
a. Focusing on taking the fight against insecurity as the main responsibility for the remainder of the term.
b. Effective actions and presenting monthly reports on the state of security in the country.

Mr. President, surely these are not the only actions whihc Guatemalans can propose, whom we would ask also to provide actions in order to preserve life. The Chamber of Industry of Guatemala is at the service of Guatemalans who wish to transmit their proposals or demands.

The Government has already started working in solidarity to the Guatemalan people, now must focus on safety.

What we hope, Mr. President, is to implement them quickly and effectively. Take a step forward in defense of Guatemalans, especially those living in regions most affected by crime.

Step forward means you accept our proposals and we can see it implemented in 30 days.

30 days in which 500 other Guatemalans may die, but hopefully after implemented we can live in a safer country.

Mr. President, it is your responsibility!!!!!!

More on this topic

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March 2016

Businessmen have stated their categorical opposition to statements made by a government official that confuse extortion with the funding of organized crime.

The statements by the Technical Secretary of the Presidency of El Salvador, Roberto Lorenzana, against companies in the country that suffer from extortion caused a strong reaction from the private sector, four days after Industrias La Constancia publicly announced that it was suspending operation of its plants because of increasing insecurity and violence.

Concern About Rising Crime of Extortion in Guatemala

February 2013

Employers indicate that the cost of paying extortion fees on productive or commercial activities, can amount to up to 1% of sales.

S21.com.gt reports that "The country's industrialists have declared taken their concerns to the Minister of the Interior where they reported being victims of extortion and theft and a killing spree that is maintaining a 'climate of anxiety' in the country, said Javier Zepeda, president of the Chamber of Industry (CIG by its initials in Spanish). "

International Response To Gang Violence

September 2010

New regulations in El Salvador to tackle gang violence foster the development of regional measures to control and proscribe local gangs.

In order to prevent gang members from fleeing the country to avoid jail, especially to Guatemala and Honduras, these countries has activated extra security measures at their borders.

Funes Changes Strategy Against Crime

July 2010

“We know that social inclusion and prevention policies will provide results in the long run, but in the short term we must combat violence with repression”.

An article on BBC World noted that the country changed its crime policies to address a wave of criminal violence that is killing at least 10 people per day in El Salvador.

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