Sunday, July 22, 2012

Police Reform in Guatemala from the International Crisis Group

The International Crisis Group has a new report on Police Reform in Guatemala: Obstacles and Opportunities. The Executive Summary and Recommendations look similar to what we've heard for the last few years. However, the full report, which can be accessed here, looks like it has taken recent developments into account.
The urgency of building competent, professional police has only grown over the past decade. More than 57,000 people were murdered from 2001 through 2011; the homicide rate climbed from 28 per 100,000 persons in 2001 to a peak of 46 per 100,000 in 2009.

There is hope that this trend may be reversing: the rate fell to 41 in 2010 and to 39 in 2011. But that is still higher than Colombia (32 per 100,000), where guerrillas and other armed groups continue to operate, and more than double the average in the Americas overall (sixteen), about eight times the rate in the U.S. (five) and ten times the average in Europe (3.5).
"There is hope that this trend may be reversing"? Isn't the decline in 2010 and 2011 evidence that it is? And last I looked, Guatemala was on pace for ~33 per 100,000 in 2012.

Why not compare Guatemala's rate to El Salvador and Honduras? Who compares it to the US, Europe, or Colombia? Would Guatemala's rate look too good if they compared it to its neighbors in the Northern Triangle?

That's not to say that Guatemala doesn't have a lot of work to do. It obviously does. I just always find the comparisons that people choose to be strange at times.

1 comment:

  1. You are talking about a big job here. Improving our police is possible, but will be difficult. Often the missing ingredient in getting things done is leadership. How are police leaders selected and trained? For ideas on how to do this I suggest you take a look at my new book for the basics in transforming a police agencie, “Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police.” My blog is at where I discuss these and other current police improvement issues. Good luck and may we all experience great policing in both our nations!