Think twice about moving to Guatemala

Watch out travelers to Guatemala… I found this on the U.S. embassy website in Guatemala… Also, I include a link to a story about crimes against women and girls…

[color=blue]Crime and Public Safety[/color]

[color=red]Recent Crime Incidents Involving Foreigners[/color]
The information contained here is based on general reporting of crime incidents affecting both foreign tourists and foreign residents of all nationalities in Guatemala. Reports of crimes on this website are drawn from a variety of sources and are not intended to be complete or a general analysis of crime in Guatemala. However, these brief descriptions provide information on the types of crimes committed against foreigners, and when available the location, time of day, and events that took place. Non-violent crimes, those not involving a weapon, and/or those not involving a substantial loss of property, are not included here. More information on current patterns and trends in crime in Guatemala is included in the Consular Information Sheet (CIS).

[color=blue]August 2005[/color]

[color=red]Road between Santiago and Patulul[/color]: Three busloads of U.S. university students were stopped and robbed by armed highwaymen. No injuries were reported, but the robbers took cameras and approximately $300. No arrests have been made.

[color=red]Pan American highway, kilometer 124[/color]: Just before 7:00 pm, a bus with 17 Italian passengers traveling between Sacatep

Kidnapping and ransom negotiation has been a national sport in Central America quite a long time.
Its pretty much travel at your own risk there.

When I travelled around Guatemala, every person I met had either been robbed or had met another traveller who had been robbed. I saw a guy being chased out of my hotel by a man brandishing a gun. I was also on board a bus that was stopped by a gang of men brandishing guns; several came aboard, but nothing happened.

The word on the street was, that if you were about to become a victim of robbery, just give them something. It was the fighting back or trying to escape that brought on the violence, though most shots were fired in anger than in a real attempt to kill or maim.

We had armed guards on all our expeditions, and shootouts weren

The sad fact is that it used to be relatively SAFE to go and live in Guatemala… Many young Canadians and Americans have flocked there over the years to study Spanish in places like Antigua… But now, it isn’t such a paradise…

I met a Canadian traveller in the Philippines in October, and he told me how he heard that of several Canadians he spoke to in the past two years who had traveled to Guatemala, ALL of them had been hassled, robbed and scared… It’s just worse than it used to be, which is unfortunate…


The brother of a good friend was down there meeting up with fellow American Peace Corps volunteers who had trained together. Paramilitaries broke into the house they were in, robbed everybody, raped all the women at leisure, and left the next morning.

[quote=“Popo”]The sad fact is that it used to be relatively SAFE to go and live in Guatemala… :help:[/quote]Popo -
When was this?
I worked quite frequently in Guatemala and other Central and Sud American countries during the 70’s, 80’s and some in the early 90’s. It was a darn dangerious place the entire time.
As I said, kidnapping and ransom negotiation is a national sport.
Many of the student/backpacker travelers I met had no idea what the heck they were into and fortunately they encountered little trouble.
“G-d protects drunks and babies” I guess applies here.
Kidnapper/Bandits want people who can pay ransoms - that usually translated into business people. They know that the companies usually had insurance and could be negotiated with. Thats where the money was/is.
What you are seeing now is the result of Guatemala making life hard for these former communist rebels and militia scum who are reduced to ‘targets of opportunity’ such as buses and other ‘soft’ targets to ply their trade.
It is a beautiful country - I dearly love the volcano region up in the mountains outside of Guate City.
A road side snack shack on the road there was the first place I ever ate bar-b-qued monkey on a stick.

Its location is one of its best assets and worst trouble. … os/gt.html

[quote=“TainanCowboy”][quote=“Popo”]The sad fact is that it used to be relatively SAFE to go and live in Guatemala… :help:[/quote]Popo -
When was this?
I worked quite frequently in Guatemala and other Central and Sud American countries during the 70’s, 80’s and some in the early 90’s. It was a darn dangerious place the entire time.[/quote]

Well, TC, this may be a first, but I find myself agreeing with you. :slight_smile:

I’ve never been to Guatemala, but my brother used to spend a lot of time there in the 80’s and has very close Guatemalan friends. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories from him, including the time they were mtn biking in Guatemala and suddenly stopped because a bus was being held up by bandits in front of them in the road, so they quietly turned around and rode like hell in the other direction.

I hitchicked through Central-America back in 1989.Someone attempted to rob me in Guatemala and in Mexico. I escaped both times.

In Mexico,a guy picked us up and became irritated, almost aggressive when we refused to go to his house with him. Luckily, we soon came to a busier area and we just got out of the car at an intersection. Buddy took off swearing and squealing his tires.

The second time I was by myself and what appeared to be a 14 years old attacked me with a butter knife. That was right in the open near a busy road. He pulled the knife out, stood about 3 feet in front of me and asked me for my money. I looked at the kid and realised he was a threat but logically I was a more serious threat to him. I raise my fists and said angrily “F.U.” He ran away.

Could have been worse obviously. I don’t doubt things are probably much worse by now. Not a safe place to go but it’s really nice.


i lived in what was considered the most dangerous part of Honduras for quite awhile. i stayed out of trouble by befriending a lot of locals. i can’t say i was never in danger, but i managed to come out alive and well.

Guat City is still not nearly as dangerous as San Pedro Sula, Honduras. SPS is insane, the gangs rule the roost…it’s considered by many to be the 2nd most dangerous city in Latin America, after Bogota.

although Guat City does appear to be becoming a less and less friendly place for gringos.

if you gauge your actions by the alerts on the government websites, you’d eventually never leave your house…lol

Guatemala is the only place I’ve ever been successfully pickpocketed. The bastard got away with my wallet…containing 3 whole dollars!

Obviously robbing is bad, but you have to admire the guy who robbed you for being so persistent! :astonished:

Aha, my scheme worked… NOW we know who the CIA agents are!

Guat City is off the hook. We got there around 11pm, the cabbie took us to the hotel but it was full up. We told the cabbie we’ll just walk to the next hotel which was a block away he told us he doesn’t want our money he just wants to drive us to the other hotel so we don’t get robbed. As we were discussing this a truck stopped and asked us what the fuck we’re we doing out on the road