Riots and the Fight Against Smuggling

As a result of the operations carried out by the Superintendence of Tax Administration to stop smuggling, in recent days there have been two attacks on the customs area of Tecún Umán I, on the border between Guatemala and Mexico.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

According to information provided by the Guatemalan authorities, on November 13 and 17, groups of alleged smugglers attacked the customs of Tecún Umán I in San Marcos, because in the operations deployed by the tax authority, merchandise was seized that was not declared upon entry into the country.

As a result of the riots, the Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT) decided to close the premises for 48 hours, but after the intervention of the security forces, it was opened to the public on November 20.

See "Smuggling "Hub" in Central America" and "Rebound in Smuggling Forecasted"

Javier Zepeda, executive director of the Guatemalan Chamber of Industry (CIG), told Prensalibre.com that "... actions must be continued to combat the scourge of smuggling, which is handled by organized crime structures. There must be coordination among all the institutions to eradicate this problem that generates an impact on the economy, the treasury and puts at risk the health of people who buy products of uncertain origin."

Zepeda added that "... the issue of smuggling and customs fraud must be seen as 'country and nation' and not as isolated, as it has repercussions and must be a state priority."

The Guatemalan American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), in a statement dated November 18, expressed its repudiation of the attacks on customs and reiterated its support to SAT in the fight against smuggling and customs fraud.

"AmCham urges the authorities to take the necessary measures so that the rule of law prevails in the country and the perception of direct foreign investors is not affected," concludes the document of the business association.

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