Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Guatemala

Guatemala continued to strengthen its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regime since its 2004 removal from the Financial Action Task Force list of Non-Cooperative Countries. With U.S. assistance, Guatemala formed an interagency money laundering task force with representation from the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Guatemalan tax authority, and the Public Ministry (prosecutor's office). The U.S. Department of Defense continued to train the Guatemalan military's counterterrorist unit. In addition to threats posed by transnational narcotics organizations, Guatemala is a major alien smuggling route from Central and South America, which makes it a potential transit point for terrorists seeking to gain access to the United States.

Severe resource constraints, corruption, and an ineffective criminal justice system hampered efforts to combat transnational crime threats such as drug trafficking and alien smuggling, especially in remote areas of the country. Guatemala's borders lacked effective coverage by police or military personnel, and controls at its southern and eastern borders with El Salvador and Honduras have been relaxed as part of the Central American integration process. Nevertheless, Guatemalan civil aviation and port authorities cooperated with the United States in investigating potential terrorism leads.


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