Deadly violence, both organized and random, political and personal, has all but cemented the road to a failed state in Guatemala. Decades of civil war, social and economic inequality, and a long history of violent conquest have laid fertile ground for the ills of recent Guatemalan history. Amidst a fog of culpability, Guatemala is slipping into extreme lawlessness exacerbating a long existing climate of brutality and mistrust among the populace.
Drug cartels, street gangs and shadowy elements within the state security forces are all major factors contributing to the growing instability of this Central American country still struggling to recover from a 36 year civil war that ended in the mid 1990's.
In 2008, more than 6500 people were reported killed by homicide in Guatemala. The actual numbers are likely much higher. 2% of Guatemala's homicides are solved today, leaving near total impunity for those who enforce their will by deadly force.