Guatemala Overview

Despite improvements in the rates of prosecution for violent crime, Guatemala still has one of the highest homicide rates in the world and police abuse is extremely common. Human rights defenders, trade unionists, and journalists are routinely threatened, intimidated, and attacked. Special military task forces created to fight crime are being increasingly deployed in areas affected by conflict over land and indigenous rights, and human rights organisations worry that repression may increase as a result. The judiciary is beset by inefficiency and corruption, and impunity prevails both for present crimes and for those committed during the internal armed conflict, which specifically targeted indigenous populations.