President Alejandro Giammattei imposed a State of Prevention for parts of Chimaltenango department on Wednesday, February 5, due to insecurity and significant gang activity in the area. The new measures will be in place for six days and focus on the municipalities of Chimaltenango, San Andrés Itzapa, and El Tejar. During the State of Prevention, officials can limit public gatherings, demonstrations, movement, and the right to carry weapons. Additional police and military personnel will be deployed into Chimaltenango department to target gang operations. Security checkpoints are also expected to be placed along routes leading to and from Chimaltenango. The US Embassy in Guatemala City announced on Wednesday that all official and personal travel by embassy personnel to the department will only be allowed on a case-by-case basis due to the heightened security measures.
A heightened security presence and traffic restrictions are anticipated in Chimaltenango, San Andrés Itzapa, and El Tejar during the State of Prevention. Violent clashes between gang members and security forces are also possible over the coming days.
In January, President Giammattei declared a State of Prevention in the cities of Mixco, San Juan Sacatepéquez, and Villa Nueva to target gangs linked to extortion and assassinations. According of Giammattei, criminals targeted in those operations have fled into Chimaltenango.
Individuals in Guatemala are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to Chimaltenango, monitor the situation, anticipate heightened security measures, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.