In Villa Nueva, Against All Odds, Bernardo Jurema explains how local and national governments, the private sector and foreign donors have worked together to improve the security situation in a town southwest of the capital city.
It is too early to know what combination of factors is behind the drop in homicides and whether the trend will continue. But police and local leaders believe that better law enforcement combined with citizen cooperation explains the downturn in violence.In Improving Public Transport in Dangerous Guatemala City, Danilo Valladares brings us up to date on the modernization of Transmetro and Transurbano. Unfortunately, the lack of competition might prove their undoing. Claire O'Neill McCleskey at Insight wonders whether a modernized bus system will reduce extortion in Could Guatemala City’s Smart Bus System Cut Extortion?
The high level of gang penetration, corruption in the bus companies, and the weakness of Guatemala's institutions make combating violence and extortion on public transport extremely challenging. The expansion of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Guatemala City, however, could prove to be an effective strategy for reducing extortion of bus companies and violence against drivers and passengers.Hopefully, the new bus systems have cut down on extortion. Reading the newspapers and having traveled to Guatemala about two years ago, I am under the impression that extortion has simply changed. Gangs went after softer routes (those outside the city limits) and residences. That's good for Guatemala City bus drivers and companies but not entirely good for everybody. Hey, but it's a start.
Finally, Danilo Valladares has another article on Macro Privatisations Bring Micro Benefits to Guatemalans. Shockingly, government concessions to foreign businesses have brought little financial benefit to the people of the country.