Guatemalan Army Acknowledges There Are Gang Members Among Its Ranks

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - May 31, 2017, 10:11 am
“We are aware of a lack of filters in the recruitment of personnel, which is improving,” an official said. (Youtube)

EspañolGuatemala’s gang problem may be permeating the country’s army thanks in part to a lack of proper background security checks.

This week, Defense Secretary Luis Angel Sierra admitted it’s a legitimate problem currently being addressed. There are, he claimed, gang leaders in the armed forces due to a failure to create proper security clearance standards.

“We are aware of a lack of filters in the recruitment of personnel, which is improving,” Angel said.


His statements come after a member of the Guatemalan army, Luis Ángel Sierra, was discovered to be a member of a gang last week.

An investigation revealed that Ángel was a trusted collaborator with leaders of a criminal group, who are currently detained at a detention center in the country’s capital, Guatemala City. Ángel was allegedly assigned to distribute firearms, ammunition and grenades to hitmen on the streets.

Another case involved a soldier named Osman Esmailyn Caal, whose social media accounts displayed both his involvement in the Guatemalan army as well as a gang.

Despite these recent controversies, Secretary Sierra said that the percentage of army personnel who are also involved in gangs is low overall.

Fuente: Guatevisión

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.