Guatemala, a small country in Central America, has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The streets are controlled by violent street gangs known as Maras, who engage in drug trafficking, prostitution, and racketeering, causing terror among the population. The members shoot their rivals or ordinary citizens who don’t comply with their demands without hesitation. In this article, we provide an insider’s view of these gangs, including interviews with some of their members.
Pedro is the head of one of the most powerful Maras in Guatemala. In our interview, he revealed that he stopped counting his homicide victims after eighteen. This chilling statement shows the brutal nature of these gangs.
Oscar, a bus driver, has one of the most dangerous professions in the country. Last year, 250 drivers were shot by Maras’ killers as a means to extort transport companies. Having been shot eleven times already, Oscar cannot do his job without constantly checking his mirrors, fearing for his life. He isn’t just looking for bicycles.
Faced with the rise in crime and the powerlessness of the underequipped police force, some residents have chosen to join a citizen’s militia. These groups patrol the streets at night equipped with guns, swords, or baseball bats. They risk their lives daily to protect their communities. Sadly, some have already lost their lives in the process.
By shedding light on the dangerous world of Maras gangs in Guatemala, we hope to raise awareness and encourage people to take action against gang violence. We have a documentary that takes a deep look into this topic, and we highly encourage you to watch it. It’s a heartbreaking reminder of the violence that plagues our world, but we must face it head-on.