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Guatemala’s new government makes extortion its top security priority

Associated Press

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo’s new administration says it will make addressing widespread extortion its top security priority. Interior Minister Francisco Jiménez, a security expert who has previously held the position, explained that Guatemala’s extortion problem is different from that in some neighboring countries. Only about 20% of the extortion cases are attributable to gangs, while the rest are gang “imitators,” Jiménez said, meaning that opportunistic criminals trade on the violent reputation of the gangs to extract money from people. Authorities also trace most of the extortion back to Guatemala’s prisons, where inmates with contraband phones threaten and terrorize small business owners.

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Associated Press


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