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TUESDAY October 26, 2021: 'GUATEMALA Bleeds' by ZUMA Press award winning photographer David Tesinsky who rode along with Guatemala's Policia Nacional Civil: Guatemala's criminal organizations are among the most sophisticated and dangerous in Central America. Some of them have been in operation for decades. They include former members of the military, intelligence agencies and active members of the police. Poverty and violent crime continue to plague Guatemala over twenty years after its last left-wing guerrillas laid down their arms. An average of 101 murders per week were reported in 2018. 95% of murders remain unsolved and the ultra-violent maras (gangs) manage drug trafficking, prostitution and racketeering. The police who try and control the gangs are woefully under-equipped. Sometimes, they even have to buy their own ammunition. More than half the population lives on less than $4 per day. After spiking in 2009, crime rates had fallen due partly to a UN-sponsored investigative commission. But the government has terminated that body's mandate early in response to a series of corruption probes, imperiling the fight against criminal impunity. Meanwhile thousands of Guatemalans risk being robbed or assaulted every day. Welcome to: 'GUATEMALA Bleeds'
© zReportage.com Story of the Week #811: TUESDAY October 26, 2021: 'GUATEMALA Bleeds' by ZUMA Press award winning photographer David Tesinsky who rode along with Guatemala's Policia Nacional Civil: Guatemala's criminal organizations are among the most sophisticated and dangerous in Central America. Some of them have been in operation for decades. They include former members of the military, intelligence agencies and active members of the police. Poverty and violent crime continue to plague Guatemala over twenty years after its last left-wing guerrillas laid down their arms. An average of 101 murders per week were reported in 2018. 95% of murders remain unsolved and the ultra-violent maras (gangs manage drug trafficking, prostitution and racketeering. The police who try and control the gangs are woefully under-equipped. Sometimes, they even have to buy their own ammunition. More than half the population lives on less than $4 per day. After spiking in 2009, crime rates had fallen due partly to a UN-sponsored investigative commission. But the government has terminated that body's mandate early in response to a series of corruption probes, imperiling the fight against criminal impunity. Meanwhile thousands of Guatemalans risk being robbed or assaulted every day. Welcome to: 'GUATEMALA Bleeds'
A suspect is taken into police custody early in the morning, after a long planned police raid to arrest a member of the Barrio 18 gang. Police expected strong retaliation from other gang members but there was no attack came.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
A member of Policia Nacional Civil with pistol drawn during a surprise early morning raid to arrest a member of the 18th street gang (Barrio 18).
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
Family members visibly upset as the young 18th street gang member is arrested and taken away by a large group of Guatemala's Policia Nacional Civil.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
A view of one of Guatemala City's poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods controlled by the notorious MS-13 gang. Research conducted by InSight Crime in 2018 determined that street gangs are present in 23 of the 25 city zones. MS-13 related groups are present in 21 zones of the capital.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
An armed police officer walks the streets of Zone 5 during an unannounced raid against gang members. The police arrived without a previous agreement with the gang, as is customary before a raid. 'We must get an agreement from the gang before entering their territory' police said. That's why it was quite a risky mission.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
Armed member of Guatemala's Policia Nacional Civil stands next to MS gang graffiti in front of the only entrance to the territory of the notorious MS-13 gang. This time they couldn't enter as this area has apparently a dangerous community of MS-13 members. 'They would shoot after us immediately' a police officer said.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
Armed members of Guatemala's Policia Nacional Civil arrive in Zone 5 under grey skies, during an unannounced raid to stop gang activity.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
Officers from Policia Nacional Civil secure the area outside a crime scene where a deadly gang related shooting occurred in Zona 6.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
A police officer looks at the scene where a victim with gun shot wounds lays on the ground. A woman was murdered with a shot to the head by a gang member for apparent unsolved drug business in Guatemala City's Zona 6, according to police.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
The victims daughter falls to the ground and hugs her dead mother who was shot in a head by a gang member moments earlier. The woman was murdered for unsolved drug business in Zona 6, according to police.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
Victims daughter reacts as emergency services personal try to comfort her after finding her dead mother who was shot in a head by a gang member moments earlier. The woman was murdered for unsolved drug business in Zona 6, according to police.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
Police help the tearful victims daughter to wash her dead mother's blood from her hands. The girls mother was murdered with a shot to the head by a gang member for unsolved drug business in Zona 6, according to police.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
Young members of Guatemala's Policia Nacional Civil talk and smile in the back of a pickup truck en-route to Zona 5 for an unannounced raid to stop illegal activities of gang members without previous agreement with them. A new report from The American University found that despite a years-long boost in budgetary resources, the police body is underperforming amid an enduring wave of violence.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
A father gives his daughter a boost in a neighborhood controlled by the infamous MS-13 gang. According to locals living in these areas the violence has decreased compared to 2006-2011. In Guatemala City an average of 101 murders per week were officially reported in 2018 alone.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
A former MS-13 gang member shows his memorial tattoo for his dead brother. He now lives a quiet life and grows flowers instead of the violent crime activities he undertook within the gang when he was a member of MS-13.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
Armed member of Policia Nacional Civil near the edge of the '18 Crazy Boys Latinos' gang controlled territory. 'We can only (safely) access this beginning point of their territory' and no further, police said.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
A suspect gang member is stopped and searched by police during an unannounced raid in Zona 5 to stop illegal activities of gang members. The police arrived without a previous agreement with gang members as is customary before a raid. 'We must get an agreement from the gang before entering their territory' police said.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
A boy peers from a window as police arrive on an unannounced raid in Zona 5 to stop illegal activities of gang members. The police arrived without a previous agreement with gang members as is customary before a raid. 'We must get an agreement from the gang before entering their territory' police said. That's why it was quite a risky mission.
© David Tesinsky/ZUMA Press Wire
ZUMA Press contract Photographer David Tesinsky

ZUMA Press contract Photographer David Tesinsky was born in Prague in the Czech Republic and he specializes in covering subcultures, 'people’s stories' and unusual social topics. In 2018 David started teaching a photojournalism class at Prague College. His assignments have taken him around the globe. (Credit Image: © ZUMAPRESS.com):811



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