Today, according to the Institut national d’études démographiques (INED), Guatemala is the fifth most violent country in the world among the nations that are not currently at war. The rate of homicide (38 per 100,000 inhabitants) remains significantly above the average of the South American continent, which is 23 per 100,000 inhabitants (UNODC, March 2014). Impunity persists, with 98% of murder cases not investigated or closed (Le Figaro, September 1, 2011). This atmosphere of extreme violence is maintained by Las maras, which are local gangs specializing in drug trafficking, human trafficking, and fraud. The network of these criminal organizations extends to the United States, corrupting even the highest-level political spheres. Although this violence is widespread and institutionalized, it particularly affects certain groups, several studies conducted by researchers and NGOs showing that it exists mainly as discrimination, with the most affected populations being indigenous women and street children (Hickey, 2013).

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