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Guatemala,Caribbean,Central America,South America

Guatemala Commits to Gun Marking in Cooperation Agreement [ES]

28 November 2011

EFE News Agency

[Translated Summary: A cooperation agreement with the Organization of American States (OAS) commits Guatemala to mark firearms in order to help prevent illegal gun trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the first year of the agreement, the General Directorate for Firearms and Munitions Control (DIGECAM) is required to register about 1,500 guns a month.] Guatemala - Guatemala publicó hoy un acuerdo de cooperación con la Organización de Estados Americanos... (

Read More: EFE News Agency


Guatemala,Mexico,United States,Central America

Guatemala and the Black Market for US Weapons

25 November 2011

InSight Crime (Bogota)

The trafficking of weapons over the U.S.-Mexico border is well-documented -- lesser known but also significant is the sale of U.S. weapons to Guatemalan government contractors, which are then siphoned off to criminal groups. The Mexican government has focused much of its efforts to stop arms trafficking on the smuggling of weapons over the U.S. border. This strategy ignores other sources of weapons, and other entry points. Central America, for example, represents a... (

Read More: InSight Crime (Bogota)


Guatemala,United States,Mexico,Costa Rica,South America,Caribbean,Central America

Gun Trade Drives Soaring Latin American Homicide Rates, say Experts

24 November 2011


SAN JOSE — Illegal weapons trafficking has turned Latin America into a region of bloodletting in which over 40 percent of the world's homicides take place, experts warned Wednesday. "Forty-two percent of homicides with a firearm that happen worldwide take place in Latin America, though only 10 percent of the world's population lives here," said Nobel laureate and former president Oscar Arias, citing UN data, at a conference of experts. Although weapons such as... (

Read More: AFP


Mexico,United States,Central America,El Salvador,Guatemala,South America

Black Market Gun Runners Develop New Central American Routes - Report

21 November 2011

InSight Crime (Bogota)

Because the recent spike in drug-related violence in Mexico has coincided with the 2004 expiration of the U.S. assault weapons ban, and because a significant portion of the weapons used in Mexican crimes have been traced to U.S. vendors, Mexican officials often accuse liberal U.S. gun laws of being a major obstacle to a safer Mexico. Indeed, President Felipe Calderon made precisely this point during a speech to U.S. Congress in 2010. U.S. officials have not denied that... (

Read More: InSight Crime (Bogota)


Central America,Mexico,United States,Guatemala

Arms Trafficking, Business of Death: Guns in Central America [ES]

16 November 2011

Contralinea (Mexico)

[Translated Summary: Contralinea magazine details the routes by which guns are trafficked into Mexico, including the flow of arms from the US directly to Guatemala, and then over Mexico's southern border. English translation at:] En la última década, México pasó del lugar vigesimosegundo al quinto en tráfico de armas en el ámbito mundial. Se calcula que cada día ingresan al país unas 2 mil para abastecer a los cárteles de la droga, la... (

Read More: Contralinea (Mexico)


Caribbean,Central America,South America,Honduras,United States,Mexico,El Salvador,Guatemala

Latin American Leaders Demand International Action on Arms Trafficking

11 November 2011

InSight Crime (Bogota)

The 2011 Ibero-American Summit, held in Asuncion, Paraguay in October, was criticized for its failures, but leaders used the platform to call attention to the global arms trade and demand international cooperation on more effective measures to fight weapons trafficking and organized crime. At the close of the summit, the member countries issued a separate and special declaration (available in pdf format here) defining public security as a precondition for economic and... (

Read More: InSight Crime (Bogota)


Guatemala,El Salvador,Caribbean,South America,Central America,Mexico,United States

Authorities Discussed California's Role as a Pipeline for Illegal Guns to Mexico

25 October 2011

Southern California Public Radio (USA)

State and local officials were joined by Mexican law enforcement in Los Angeles Tuesday to discuss California's role as a pipeline for illegal weapons to Mexican drug cartels. Authorities say California actually ranks much lower than other border states in gun trafficking. But the state's highways are often used to transport the weapons. State Senator Kevin De Leon chairs the Senate Select Committee on Immigration and the Economy. The L.A. Democrat says federal... (

Read More: Southern California Public Radio (USA)


Guatemala,Central America

Of 2,496 Murders in Guatemala, 86% Were Shootings [ES]

6 October 2011

EFE News Agency

[Translated summary: 2,496 murders, including 360 of women, were committed in Guatemala during the first nine months of 2011, says an NGO that monitors human rights. Firearms were used in 85,66% of the crimes committed between January and September 2011.] Guatemala - Unos 2.496 asesinatos, 360 de ellos de mujeres, fueron perpetrados en Guatemala durante los primeros nueve meses de 2011, denunció hoy el Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (GAM), una organización no gubernamental... (

Read More: EFE News Agency


Caribbean,Central America,South America,Honduras,El Salvador,Mexico,Guatemala,Venezuela,Colombia

Epidemic of Gun Violence in Latin America - United Nations Data

4 October 2011

UN Dispatch (new York)

As the drug trade — and the organized crime it spawns — spread through Latin America, the region is facing an epidemic of gun violence, according to new U.N. data. Speaking at a conference on the subject in Lima, Peru, Camilo Duplat of the Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean announced that some 740,000 Latin Americans are dying annually in gun violence, and 500,000 of those deaths are linked to organized crime.... (

Read More: UN Dispatch (new York)


Colombia,United States,Mexico,Central America,Iraq,El Salvador,Guatemala,Honduras

Honduras Standing as the Epicenter of Central America's Arms Trade

13 August 2011

Honduras Weekly / InSight Crime

A recent report released by the National Commissioner for Human Rights (Conadeh), in Honduras indicates that there are more than 850,000 weapons in circulation in the country. Only 258,000 weapons, however, are officially registered. It is therefore hardly surprising, in a country with hundreds of thousands of illegal weapons, that as many as 80 percent of homicides are firearm related. Traditionally, Hondurans have taken a rather liberal approach to gun ownership,... (

Read More: Honduras Weekly / InSight Crime


Guatemala,El Salvador,Central America,Mexico,United States

US Gun Lobby, Congress Hamper, Slow Work of Feds' Gun Tracing Centre

5 August 2011

Houston Chronicle (Texas)

MARTINSBURG, West Virginia — No signs mark the outside of the hidden 1960s-vintage government facility in the bucolic countryside of West Virginia's panhandle. Even the parking lot is obscured by black tarps lining a cyclone fence. But just inside the warehouse-like brick building is the National Tracing Center, the epicenter of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' effort to combat and control illegal gun use. When police need to trace a... (

Read More: Houston Chronicle (Texas)


Guatemala,Honduras,Mexico,United States,Central America,Colombia,Nicaragua,El Salvador,Panama,Costa Rica

Most Guns Seized in Guatemala 'Come from Honduras' [Es]

19 July 2011

La Prensa (Honduras), Editorial

[Translated summary: Most guns seized in Guatemala come from Honduras, claims Public Ministry. Assault rifles, hand grenades, semi-automatic weapons, large caliber rifles as unconventional Barrett .50 caliber and AK-47, were part of the weaponry confiscated from the Zetas (dug cartel) operating in Central America.] Fusiles de asalto, armas automáticas y granadas buscan los criminales mexicanos en países centroamericanos para continuar la guerra que libran con la... (

Read More: La Prensa (Honduras)


Western Europe,Oceania,Europe,Asia,Americas,Africa,United States,China,India,Guatemala

Private Security Guards Now Outnumber Police Worldwide - New Survey

6 July 2011

Sunday Times (UK) / AFP

GENEVA - Private security companies employ up to 25.5 million people across the world, exceeding the number of police officers, and hold up to 3.7 million firearms, a survey said Wednesday. "The global trend towards downsizing government, including public security institutions, has contributed to the growth of the private security sector," said the Geneva Graduate Institute's small arms survey. "In prisons, at airports, along borders and on the street, security... (

Read More: Sunday Times (UK) / AFP


Peru,Guatemala,Afghanistan,Argentina,Venezuela,Brazil,South America

Survey: South American Security Firms Carry More Guns Than Elsewhere

29 March 2011

United Press International

RIO DE JANEIRO - Private security firms in Latin America are the most armed with the largest weapons arsenals in that category of security industry companies worldwide, a new survey report said. An added problem was that many of the weapons carried by employees of private security firms weren't registered under companies' names. Instead, the weapons had private registrations that made the task of evaluating the firms' arsenals more difficult, said an advance research... (

Read More: United Press International


United States,Guatemala

Former Police Officer Convicted in US-Guatemala Gun Smuggling Case

20 December 2010

WDEF-TV News (Tennessee)

NASHVILLE, Tennessee - A former Nashville police officer was found guilty by a federal jury of two counts of making false statements when purchasing guns intended to be smuggled to Guatemala. According to prosecutors, Edwing Ronal Morales was convicted last week and will face sentencing in April 2011. Each of the violations carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Morales was one of five people indicted last year on charges of... (

Read More: WDEF-TV News (Tennessee)



Climate of Insecurity Prompts More Guatemalan Women to Carry Guns

11 February 2010

Tico Times (Costa Rica)

The climate of insecurity in Guatemala is forcing women to arm themselves to protect themselves and their families, the Central American nation's state newspaper, Diario de Centroamerica, reported Monday. The official newspaper said an increasing number of women of different professions are acquiring weapons and registering them with Guatemala's Arms and Munitions Control Office. Some 9,200 weapons have been registered at that agency in the name of women, representing... (

Read More: Tico Times (Costa Rica)


United States,Mexico,Costa Rica,Guatemala

Latin America to Test US Gun-Tracking System

6 January 2010

USA Today

MEXICO CITY — Police in Latin America will soon have access to a Spanish version of a U.S. gun-tracking system that could widen efforts to hunt down crime suspects and weapons traffickers. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said Wednesday that it is about to begin testing a Spanish-language version of eTrace, the computer system that helps police trace who buys U.S. firearms. "This is to allow the infrastructure to make it easier for law... (

Read More: USA Today



350 Women Murdered with Guns in Guatemala in 8 Months [Es]

1 November 2009

Servicio de Noticias de la Mujer de Latinoamérica y el Caribe - SEMlac (Peru), Web page

[Translated summary: From January to August 2009, 546 women were murdered in Guatemala, including 350 killed with firearms… (IANSA)] Una mujer despierta de dolor y se reencuentra con que su rostro desapareció porque el marido se lo arrancó de tajo con un cuchillo. Otra corre peor suerte y su misma sangre sirve para que su conviviente escriba en las paredes: "por marera la tuve que matar". Y un hecho aún más horroroso tiene por escenario la calle: los pedazos de... (

Read More: Servicio de Noticias de la Mujer de Latinoamérica y el Caribe - SEMlac (Peru)


Guatemala,United States

Nashville Cop Bought Handguns for Smuggling to Guatemala Drug Gang

29 September 2009

Tennessean (Nashville)

Five men, including a former Metro police officer, have been indicted in connection with an overseas gun smuggling scheme. According to an indictment made public Tuesday, the men conspired to buy semiautomatic pistols, revolvers and ammunition from Middle Tennessee gun dealers and ship them to Guatemala, where they were distributed to members of two South American drug cartels. In all, agents said, they managed to get 18 guns into the hands of the Lorenzana and... (

Read More: Tennessean (Nashville)


El Salvador,Guatemala,Nicaragua,Central America

More Central America 'Peacetime' Gun Deaths Than in Civil Wars - Report

9 July 2009


GENEVA — Some Central American countries are experiencing more gun killings now than during their civil wars and face serious security threats from firearms in civilian hands, the Small Arms Survey report released on Thursday showed. Armed robberies, extortions, kidnappings for ransom, organised riots and community violence threaten to destabilise post-conflict nations in Latin America, Asia and Africa where fighting has officially stopped, the annual publication... (

Read More: Reuters