Federal authorities in the United States estimates that street gang Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, has at least 30,000 members in its organization. The members are spread out across the Americas region, with members known to be in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
In 2011, there were an estimated 25,000 international adoptions around the world, down from the 45,000 adoptions that took place in 2004. The decline was attributed to a global crackdown on illegal adoptions and baby trafficking.
In fiscal year 2008, parents in the United States adopted 4,123 from Guatemala, making the country the number one source of international adoptions in the U.S.
There are an estimated 1.6 million illegal arms trafficked around Guatemala in 2011. The homicide rate in the country was 52 people per 100,000 in 2011.
2007 was the last year that parent in the United States could legally adopt children from Guatemala. The practice ended that year due to illegal adoption and child trafficking concerns. Other developed countries previously halted adoptions from Guatemala in 2002.
Drug cartel Los Zetas was charging migrants between $7,000 to $10,000 per person to be smuggled from Central American countries through Mexico and into the United States. The drug trafficking cartel diversified into human smuggling and had recruiters in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to transport people along supply routes towards the U.S. border.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, over 90 percent of the cocaine from South America that enters the US first travels through Guatemala. The Mexican government employs 125 immigration officers on the 540 mile border between Guatemala and Mexico. In comparison, the United States employs 30,000 agents on its border with Mexico.
Migrants from Guatemala paid human smugglers $7,000 to be smuggled into the United States from Mexico in 2011. The human smuggling fee from Guatemala is up from the reported price of $2,450 in 2008.
The Mexican drug trafficking cartel Zetas was operating in up to 75 percent of Guatemala’s territory in 2010.
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 methamphetamines.