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Guatemalan president presents initiative to sentence smugglers to 30 years in prison
Guatemala's President-elect Alejandro Giammattei speaks during a news conference in Guatemala City. (Reuters)

The Texas News Today reported according to Reuters, President Alejandro Giammatei of Guatemala presented an initiative to Parliament on Friday, significantly extending the sentence of smugglers and sentenced the worst criminals to up to 30 years.

For many years, Guatemala has been an important transit country for poor Central American immigrants, including Guatemala, on a dangerous journey across Mexico to the United States in search of a better life.

However, the Guatemalan government has sought to crack down on gangsters smuggling people after dozens of migrants have died in overcrowding of transport vehicles or in prominent cases by criminal groups.

Latin America-Guatemala/Pixabay
Latin America-Guatemala/Pixabay

Jamatai proposed increasing the sentence of a smuggler known as a “coyote” from two to five to ten to thirty years, which is currently stipulated by Guatemalan law.

“I reaffirm my government’s commitment to tightening imprisonment for coyotes and traffickers,” Giammattei said in a speech to Congress, adding that the United States should also hand over people’s smugglers. I did.

About 3,000 migrants advance slowly along highway near Mexico’s border with Guatemala

The proposal states that penalties could be even higher if smugglers transport minors and if pregnant women or migrants are treated inhumanely.

Jamatai’s announcement comes a few weeks after the death of most of the 55 Guatemalan migrants when a crowded truck passing through southern Mexico capsized.

President Guatemala called for reforms to be passed as a matter of national urgency. However, the change must be discussed first and approved by at least two-thirds of the 160 members.

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The bill is likely to be passed, as the ruling party can get the votes it needs with the support of the alliance and other benches.

Immigration officials in Guatemala said Friday they were also on the lookout for another possible caravan of migrants leaving Honduras and crossing Guatemala on the weekends.

Source: texasnewstoday