To stem the violence that kills thousands of Guatemalans each year, the government must find the resources and will to carry out long-stalled reforms of the national police.
The bloody eruption of the Mexican Zetas cartel into its territory is the latest chapter in a vicious cycle of repeated government failures, massive corruption and criminal violence that threatens the frail democracy of Guatemala, the gateway for most of the drugs reaching the U.S. from Mexico.
Violence and unregulated campaign finance endanger political institutions ahead of the Guatemalan polls in September.
Despite the promising beginning made by a unique hybrid legal body established by agreement with the UN, a culture of fear and impunity still prevails in Guatemala.
Fourteen years after the end of its civil war, Guatemala has become a paradise for crime that is deeply entrenched in the state and society, undermines institutions and thrives on extreme levels of impunity.