Guatemala Creates Special Forces to Fight Kidnappings and Murders of Women

By Dialogo
January 26, 2012

On January 24, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez created two police forces to combat and prevent kidnappings and the murder of women, as part of an “iron fist” anti-crime plan he announced during the election campaign.

The president, a retired general, named Mirna Carrera, a former prosecutor specialized in homicide cases, as coordinator of an “anti-femicide task force,” at an event held at National Civil Police headquarters in the capital.

According to the president, Guatemala is in second place among the countries of Central and South America in “femicides” (gender-based murders of women), behind only Mexico.

Pérez, who took office on January 14, also set up an anti-kidnapping task force, which will be coordinated by David Moya, a former member of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, a UN body.

The president stated he hopes that the establishment of these two agencies will allow his administration to reduce the murders of women and the 250 kidnappings recorded in 2011 by 25 percent this year.

Pérez also said that with these two task forces, he has kept his campaign promise to create five special groups to provide security to the population, since he set up specialized groups targeting extortion, vehicle theft, and murder for hire on January 16.