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Private security in the Northern Triangle - Guatemala

22 March, 2022



In recent years, the private security sector has grown substantially, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. In many countries in the region, there are now more private security company employees than police officers.

 In the northern triangle of Central America, comprising Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, a series of cultural, political, legal, environmental, development, security, and justice factors converge in the three countries and set them apart from the rest of Central America. The highest rates of violence in the region are located here, as well as the greatest impact of firearms. Among others, a unified response to insecurity and violence has been the proliferation of private security companies, now one of the largest business sectors generating employment for thousands of people, mostly young men. 

Given the shared challenges among the Northern Triangle countries, three national studies were conducted to understand the functioning and the legal and institutional framework of the private security sector in these countries. 

The high-security risks and human rights impacts that can be associated with the services provided by the private security sector require regulation and professional capacities based on existing norms and best practices. Therefore, it is important to have an in-depth analysis of the sector and its impact to provide sustainable recommendations for public regulatory policies, companies as well as their clients.