Recruitment of young boys by Judicial Policefor the purpose of committing thefts, since 1976. [GTM9011]

rights violations, extralegal executions;
police; Guatemala
Information on recruitment or use of young boys by Judicial
Police for the purpose of committing thefts could not be found
among the sources currently available to the IRBDC.
The information below is provided for your information, as
an overview of the type of information currently available to the
IRBDC on the involvement of children in crime as reported in
relation to policemen and adult criminals.
The situation of children in Guatemala, particularly those
referred to as "street children", has received increased
attention in recent months. The most complete report on the
subject currently available to the IRBDC is a July 1990 Amnesty
International publication titled Guatemala: Extrajudicial
executions and Human Rights violations against street children.
This document reports abuses against street children, mainly by
policemen and private security guards, which range from
harassment to beatings and cases of extrajudicial execution
(Amnesty International 1990, 2). The source adds that abuses
against petty criminals and street children "are not a new
phenomenon", but have recently been exposed because of pressure
by charitable organizations (Ibid.). The abuses, which have
been increasing in harshness, are a consequence of the perceived
role of street children (some 5,000 approximately between the
ages of 5 and 13 in Guatemala city), particularly those forming
gangs, in a growing incidence of street crime (Ibid., 1, 2).
The Amnesty International publication mentions, while discussing
a particular case, the possible existence of what are described
as "crime schools" for street children in which adult criminals
teach them how to rob (Ibid., 19). The source does not
elaborate on the subject.
Other articles, some of which are available at your Regional
Documentation Centres, contain references to some cases of abuses
against children being attributed to the police. These cases are
interpreted by some as a form of punishment by policemen who, as
reportedly stated by a social worker, "consider that the justice
system doesn't work so they take justice into their own hands"
(Latinamerica Press 13 September 1990, 7; Central America
Report 8 February 1991). The above-quoted sources state that
some of the charitable organizations working with children have
been seeking legal redress for the abuses and presenting charges
against those identified as their perpetrators.

Amnesty International. July 1990. Guatemala: Extrajudicial

executions and Human Rights violations against street children. London: Amnesty International.
Central America Press [Guatemala]. 8 February 1991. "Living in a State of Fear."
Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 13 September 1990. "Guatemala: Children are the Victims."