The price of a single allergy pill containing ephedrine on the black market in Guatemala is $2.50.
A kilogram of bulk ephedrine from China costs $10,000 on the black market in Mexico.
Ephedrine is in high demand as it is used to make methamphetamine.
(Cost of Meth here.)
Source: William Booth and Anne-Marie O’Conner, “Mexican cartels emerge as top source for U.S. meth,” Washington Post, November 28, 2010.
Between 2008 and 2010, authorities in Guatemala seized $5.8 Billion in assets from drug smuggling organizations within the country. The value of the amount seized is equivalent to the country’s annual operating budget.
Source: “Guatemala: U.S. should look beyond Mexico in fighting drug trade,” CNN, November 23, 2010.
In El Salvador,security officials state that drug violence caused the homicide rate increased by 37 percent in 2009 as there were 71 murders for every 100,000 residents. Other Central America countries had high homicide rates as well, with Honduras having 67 per 100,000, and Guatemala having 52 murders per 100,000 residents.
By comparison, Mexico has 14 murders per 100,000 and the United States has 5.4 per 100,000 residents.
The high level of deaths in Central America is reported to be due to the increase in cocaine smuggling routes throughout the country. Cocaine seizures by security personnel in the region quadrupled from 2004 and 2007.
Source: Nick Miroff and William Booth, “Mexican drug cartels bring violence with them in move to Central America,” Washington Post, July 27, 2010.
Security officials estimate that between 275 to 385 tons of cocaine moves through Guatemala from South America on its way to North America each year.
The amount of cocaine that is transported through Guatemala is almost enough to satisfy the entire cocaine demand in the United States.
Source: Tim Johnson, “How Guatemala nearly went narco’,” Miami Herald, July 11, 2010.
From 2007 to April of 2010, a United Nations commission operating in Guatemala fired almost 2,000 police officers and arrested 130 government officials for corruption.
Source: Associated Press, “Progress in UN fight against Guatemala corruption,” Newser, April 20, 2010.
$10 Billion worth of cocaine is smuggled and trasnpoted through Guatemala from Colombia every year on its way to the United States.
10 percent of the funds from the drug trafficking is used to bribe local officials.
Source: Mark Schneider, “Guatemala: the next to fall?,” GlobalPost, April 16, 2009.
An estimated 17 people are murdered in Guatemala every day as crime and drug trafficking increases in the country. According to the United Nations, up to 98 percent of all crimes committed in the country go unpunished.
Source: “Brazil to finance Guatemala anti-drugs aircraft, ” Reuters, June 2, 2009.
There are an estimated 100,000 private security guards employed in Guatemala to protect businesses and families from violence caused by drug traffickers, organized crime, and gangs, according to the Washington Post. In 2008, over 6,300 people were murdered in the country.
Source: Ann-Marie O’Connor, “Guards in Guatemala: Protection and Threat,” Washington Post, April 24, 2009.