GUATEMALA – The bodies of 10 suspected criminals who supposedly engaged in the extortion of shopkeepers and bus drivers were found in different parts of Guatemala’s interior, authorities said on Saturday. (LAHT)
Guatemala will end the year with a greater number of overall murders than it ended 2008. It will also see a greater increase in the number of vigilante killings that have spread throughout the country in recent months.
Guatemala City.- Humanitarian organization, Group of Mutual Support, GAM, Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo de Guatemala, has released the latest data on lynching's and mob violence in Guatemala. According to GAM in 2008 there where 8 deaths caused by mob violence and 102 injured. In 2009, to this date, there are 44 deaths and 151 injured. The Supreme Court of Guatemala states the figures as 41 deaths and 211 injured. (The Guatemala Times)The lynchings are the results of several factors including Guatemalans lack of trust in the police and the courts. Several analysts also argue that while the motivations and actors involved in today's lynchings are different from those of earlier times, the root cause of these events can be found in the history of the country's internal armed conflict. According to Nery Rodenas from the Office of Human Rights of the Archbishop of Guatemala, ODHAG
The lynching's have their origins in the times of the armed conflict in Guatemala. During the civil war, the military used the system of lynching of insurgents or suspects of being insurgents in the home town squares of the insurgents. They forced the people of the villages to participate in the killing and beating of the members of their own community, including family members of the insurgent or suspected insurgent and the priests.During the civil war, extrajudicial killings were carried out by both the guerrillas and the government's official and unofficial security forces. In the postwar period, there were several instances where Guatemalans lynched presumed robachicos (child snatchers). Today, the majority of lynching victims appear to be suspected extortionists.