Criminal Extortion in Guatemala

"Receiving a call from an unknown bully asking for a large sum of money in return for not carrying out his threats is one of the biggest fears of Guatemalan citizens."

Friday, March 6, 2015

From an article by Corinne Dedik in issue 169 of the magazine Mundo Comercial of the Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala:

Extortion: Guatemalans Greatest Concern

Nearly 50,000 complaints of extortion to the Public Ministry (MP) have been recorded in the last ten years, 8,413 of them in the last year alone. Receiving a call from an unknown bully demanding large sums of money in return for not carrying out his threats is one of the biggest fears of Guatemalan citizens.

The first thing that complicates understanding of the phenomenon of extortion is lack of knowledge about the true incidence of this crime, because the only data available is those from complaints. However, not all victims are encouraged to report the crime. In other words, the real crime figures are not known because there are no recent surveys on victimization which could guide us in this regard, the allegations may give an idea of ​​the evolution of crime, but they have limitations.



More on this topic

Panama: Companies Report Extortions

April 2016

The guild of merchants in Chiriqui has denounced the growing amounts of extortion by organized crime organizations, mainly affecting small businesses in the province.

The Chamber of Commerce of Chiriqui stated that "... among the criminal activities of most concern to informal businesses are links to illicit financing with cash flows in clandestine opportunities, drug dealing, illegal circulation of money and making links with gangs. "

El Salvador: Growing Industrial Unrest Due to Insecurity

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.

New Travel Alert Over Safety in El Salvador

November 2014

The State Department of the United States has renewed its travel alert warning that the levels of violence and crime are critically high.  

From a statement issued by the State Department of the United States:

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens that crime and violence levels in El Salvador remain critically high.

El Salvador: Insecurity Deters SMEs

May 2014

90% of small business owners are extorted and many have had to leave the country, reported industry representatives.

Although the percentage of extortion of SMEs has increased 20% in 8 months, 76% of employers affected do not report it for fear of reprisals. The overall business perception is an increase in criminal behavior, constant threats by organized groups and greater mistrust of the National Civil Police (PNC), according to reports by the National Council of Small Business of El Salvador (CONAPES).

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