Guatemala’s Policia Nacional Civil: Guatemala’s criminal organizations are among the most sophisticated and dangerous in Central America. Some of them have been in operation for decades. They include former members of the military, intelligence agencies and active members of the police. Poverty and violent crime continue to plague Guatemala over twenty years after its last left-wing guerrillas laid down their arms. An average of 101 murders per week were reported in 2018. 95% of murders remain unsolved and the ultra-violent maras (gangs) manage drug trafficking, prostitution and racketeering. The police who try and control the gangs are woefully under-equipped. Sometimes, they even have to buy their own ammunition. More than half the population lives on less than $4 per day. After spiking in 2009, crime rates had fallen due partly to a UN-sponsored investigative commission. But the government has terminated that body’s mandate early in response to a series of corruption probes, imperiling the fight against criminal impunity. Meanwhile thousands of Guatemalans risk being robbed or assaulted every day.

I’ve been following the Bomberos Voluntarios as well. They are working hard and going through many traumatic situations on a daily basis and they do it fully for free.