Tackling organized crime in Guatemala
Guatemala is located between North and South America, has coasts in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, and shares borders with four other Central American countries. This strategic geography makes Guatemala attractive to organized crime groups wanting to link drug producers with drug consumers using land, air and maritime trafficking routes.
As a result, some of the crime areas which most affect Guatemala are associated with global drug trafficking, such as extortion, murder, money laundering, and trafficking in firearms, people and counterfeit goods.
With regional organized crime networks invariably operating on a global level, the role of INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (NCB) in Guatemala is crucial to safeguarding national and regional security.
INTERPOL in Guatemala
NCB Guatemala is the lead law enforcement unit for taking criminal investigations beyond national borders to work with police forces in other countries and continents.
As part of the national Criminal Investigations Department, the NCB is an operational unit, meaning NCB police staff can exercise police power across the country on behalf of the national police, including the power of arrest.
In cooperation with NCBs across the globe, the Guatemalan NCB monitors regional crime trends, and supports national crime investigations requiring regional or global outreach, particularly as they relate to regional organized crime.
On behalf of the national police, the NCB regularly takes part in global INTERPOL-led police operations which focus on the regional priority crime areas.
Law enforcement in Guatemala
The Ministry of Interior (Ministerio de Gobernación) is in charge of Guatemala’s law enforcement services. Its remit includes law and order, national security, border control and prison services.
NCB Guatemala is part of Guatemala’s national police - called Policia Nacional Civil - which is part of the Ministry of Interior. The police mission is to protect people and property, and contribute towards public and national security.