Guatemala Bus Drivers Pay Extortion Money: Police
By Dialogo January 05, 2011
Guatemalan bus drivers paid 1.5 million dollars in extortion money to organized crime rings in 2010, according to a police report out.
Over the course of 2010 police arrested more than 500 criminals and charged them with trying to extort money from business owners and workers.
Some of those charged were members of the notorious Mara 18 street gang, according to Donald Gonzalez, a spokesman with the national civil police.
Public transport workers appear to be at particular risk. Human rights groups said that between January and November, 119 drivers and 51 transport aides were shot dead.
About 100 small business owners were also killed by the gangs, which threaten to harm the businessmen or their workers if bribes are not paid.