I do’t believe that more guns on the streets make a place safer. For instance, more guns on the streets of the United States don’t make the country safe; guns just make the country more violent. I am sure the same for Guatemala and neighbouring countries.
Ever since an ex-military was elected as the president of Guatemala, we get to see more guns on the streets bore by the military. However, the general perception is that we are still not safer than what we were with the previous government. In fact, the statistics confirm it as well.
Having said that, most violence in Guatemala is petty crime directed at the locals and almost never at tourists. Most of the bad reputation is actually earned by the crimes rates in Guatemala City, a metropolitan area with similar crime rates as Washington D.C., New Orleans or Chicago.
Still, it is always a good idea to take precautions and be alert to avoid becoming a victim a petty theft here in Guatemala and anywhere in the world, really. An acquaintance of mine managed not to get his iPhone stolen for over three years in Guatemala City and in less than a week it was stolen in Stockholm, Sweden, one of the safest cities in the world. As you can see, one should take precautions everywhere to be safer.
© 2014, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.