Last week the US Embassy in Guatemala warned that there may be an increase in gang violence in Guatemala City this month due to the anniversary of  a 2005 gang war between Barrio 18 and MS-13. Police are expecting clashes between the gangs and will be carrying out vehicle checks in an effort to minimise violence.

From the US Embassy in Guatemala (issued on the 7th August 2018) –

Event: There is potential for an uptick in gang violence throughout the month of August. As a preventative measure, the police have increased random checkpoints, traffic stops and vehicle searches throughout Guatemala City. August 15 is the anniversary of a 2005 gang war between Barrio 18 and MS-13, and gang members could target rivals in retaliation for the violence committed during the 2005 rift. While members of the community are not targeted, incidents could occur in public places.

Due to reported planned attacks by the Barrio 18 gang, the U.S. citizen community should use caution for any visits with Guatemalan judicial authorities during the month of August.

Embassy Operations: Embassy operations are normal.

Actions to Take:

  • Review your personal security plans and remain aware of your surroundings, including local events.
  • Monitor local news for updates.
  • Maintain a high-level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.
  • Avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

Please click through here for more information, including contact information and links to the State Department’s STEP programme.

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