Photo: Guatemalan Bloggers Targeting Criminals in Country’s Most Violent State
Bloggers in Guatemala have begun identifying people suspected of being criminals in one of the country’s most violent states.
So far, vigilante bloggers from four sites have “outed” 39 alleged members of street gangs or other criminal organizations in San Benito, Peten, Guatemala over the last three years. Of those, at least 10 alleged criminals have been killed.
The investigation into the bloggers was done by elPeriodico.
In Guatemala, less than four out of 100 murder cases is actually processed, so the bloggers began looking into things themselves.
On their still-active sites, the bloggers post photos, names, and crimes of the suspected criminals. They also include where they are known to hang out, their vehicles’ license plates, and even include ways to find them.
One of the sites, Final Justice, writes, “We want justice for all the crimes these individuals have committed. We want all the weight of the law on them.”
The municipality of San Benito has a population of about 50,000 people, and is considered one of the most dangerous areas in the world. Drug trafficking and gang activity in constant and predominantly responsible for the high murder rate.
Much like in Mexico, it appears government officials in San Benito are corrupt, or at the very least inept.
And while the bloggers may have started their websites to encourage law enforcement to investigate suspected criminals, it has turned into a different, counterproductive animal, in that some web users have used their sites to make accusations simply to slander rivals.
Still, with more countries, states, and cities facing corrupt law enforcement, the internet and these blogs seem to be the best way to provide the community with information on alleged criminals and criminal activity.