Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Crime against US Citizens in Guatemala

According to the US Government, its citizens were victimized eighty-two times in Guatemala between January and July of this year.  The victims include tourists and those with temporary residence in Guatemala.

Most of the crimes involved stolen passports, money, or other personal items.  Interestingly enough, there seems to have been an increase in telephone extortion against US nationals beginning in June.  I guess that should be expected given that this type of extortion has risen dramatically in both Guatemala and El Salvador in recent years.

In terms of where the crimes were committed, 43% occurred in the capital with most in Zones 1 (downtown) and 10 (Zona Viva) and the airport.  Citizens were also the victims of crime in the heavy tourist areas of Antigua, Panajachel, and Solola. 

The Guatemalan authorities only have records on 28 robberies which is most likely explained by citizens reporting the incident to the embassy and not to the police - but that's just a guess.

Using US numbers or Guatemalan numbers, Guatemala appears pretty safe for US citizens.  What's your impression?

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