Guatemala crippled by crime
The findings of an investigation carried out by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) indicate that the average number of killings today is greater than during the country’s 1960-1996 civil war with up to 20 murders taking place in the Central American country every day.
The report, which follows an ACN fact finding and project assessment trip to Guatemala, identifies several causes for the breakdown of law and order, including poverty, social exclusion, crime, the proliferation of gangs and drugs trafficking. The investigation findings go on to emphasize the “the absence of justice that permeates the country.”
The ACN report also describes the contribution made to the country by the Church’s social work, but also stresses that priests and religious working with the poor have suffered alongside them. It mentions the death of U.S. priest Fr. Lorenzo Rosebaugh, 74, who was murdered in May, near Lake Lachúa. He was traveling to Cantabal with four other priests when the car that they were in was intercepted by two masked men, who opened fire on the occupants. Fr. Rosebaugh died and another of his fellow priests was wounded.