Monday, April 20, 2009

Circling the drain?

Over 1000 people had their lives ended violently here in Guatemala during Q1.

Studiosus, a leading package tour operator in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, has cancelled all its packages to Guatemala for 2009 and 2010; in a statement on its website the firm said that the decision follows a warning from the German government in March, about repeated killings of bus travelers "in the Caribbean nation".

I think they might have misheard: it's bus drivers who have the low life expectancy in Guatemala. 44 transport workers perished last quarter, 18 of them in March.

Studiosus also expressed concern about rumors of a possible coup.

Meanwhile the apparently 'failed state' run by President Colom has taken a number of extraordinary measures to curb the killings, such as reducing the number of guns each citizen can own to three, and reducing the number of people who can travel on any given motorbike to one. A leading crim known locally as Smiley was also apprehended last week.

Last year's homicide tally was 5400 so the Q1 numbers came in a bit below expectations.

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