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Guatemala Background

Guatemala is a major transit country for narcotics traveling from South America to the United States. The country’s drug trafficking and narcotics production have increased as a result of the Mexican government’s crackdown on domestic cartels, resulting in expanded operations in neighboring countries, including Guatemala. Guatemala has undertaken a number of critical reforms aimed at combating the internal and external factors abetting narcotics-related crime in the country. Despite these efforts, challenges still remain. Narcotics and transnational crimes are rarely prosecuted, and high level criminals are generally able to act with impunity. In January 2012, ex-general Otto Pérez Molina became president, winning on a successful platform geared at reinstating law and order. Molina has pledged to make security one of the top priorities of his administration.