Gautemala Defense and Security
The last time the Guatemalan Ministry of Interior (MOI) conducted a procurement to acquire tactical equipment, pistols, ammunition and police uniforms was in 2014. Since that episode, the MOI has conducted small isolated procurements to equip the National Police (PNC).
According to the MOI, there are currently 42,000 active police officers. The last 3,000 cadets who graduated from the police academy were sworn in December 2019 and each should have received a pistol (Berreta 92), uniforms and tactical equipment such as bullet proof vests, utility belts, boots, mace, baton, holsters, flashlights, rain coats, handcuffs, riot control gear and others. But they didn’t receive any equipment at all due to the lack of supplies. Currently the national force is using one pistol for three police officers, therefore they must turn the weapon in at the end every shift so that a colleague can use the same pistol.
Additionally, the national police inventory of equipment and firearms includes 800 AR-M4 platform rifles made in the U.S., Uzis and Tavors made in Israel and AK platform rifles confiscated from gangs and drug trafficking organizations. All rifles need upgrades and maintenance. Currently they are refurbishing 200 M16’s. They have also confirmed that they do not have smoke or tear gas CS grenades in their arsenal and have serious concerns due to the fact that they don’t have the necessary means to control, with non-lethal force, a riot in the streets or an uprising in the prisons.
The United States maintains a strong position in the security and safety equipment sector, with more than 50 percent market share. American products have a reputation for high-quality and the proximity of the U.S. for spare parts and post-sales service continues to provide U.S. companies a competitive advantage. Private sector spending drove purchasing growth in this sector in the past several years.
The new Guatemalan government sworn into office on January 14th has set an objective to dramatically enhance its security capabilities, in citizen security as well as border security. They will require security upgrades to all ports of entry, public facilities and invest in their security forces. President Giammatei has requested assistance from the Unites States Government to work together; the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior have signed Memorandum’s of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Ambassador in Guatemala.
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