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Siglo 21 , Guatemala

Violence: Present All over the World

Translated By Kate Wheeler

16 December 2012

Edited by Kyrstie Lane

Guatemala - Siglo 21 - Original Article (Spanish)

The violent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut is further evidence that violence is found in every part of the world and that governments and societies should maintain a permanent fight to combat different manifestations of violence that afflict humanity.

In Newtown, Adam Lanza, 28 years old, killed his mother and 27 other people — among them, 18 children — in an act that has shocked the entire nation, with little explanation other than Lanza’s irrationality and evidence that carrying weapons should be restricted, even when some argue in the name of freedom that there should be fewer controls to obtain them.*

In Guatemala, obtaining guns legally or illegally is very easy. We have permitted an enormous number of people to carry them, often with the intent to intimidate, assault or assassinate innocent people. The law of Arms and Ammunition has been absolutely inefficient, in large part because it was written, perhaps intentionally, in such a way that it cannot be properly applied.

According to the law, carrying illegal weapons is grounds for arrest and detention in jail without alternatives. However, in practice, those who are caught quickly recover their freedom and in a short time are back on the streets, committing crimes and terrorizing society.

This moment in Newtown was an example of what we live daily. Of course, the number of victims was much larger, but our problem is continuous. We are terrorized by murders and assaults with firearms, and must live with all of the effects that this entails.

There is no doubt that what happened in the United States will require its citizens to nationally debate this and other issues dealing with public safety. They will look to reduce the risk of tragedies like this one ever occurring again. Sadly but surely, these things will continue to occur if nothing is done to prevent them.

This is our problem. These events happen and we continue to fall behind, we do not reflect and very few changes are made to ensure that the crisis does not repeat itself. Impunity has been reduced from 95 percent to 70 percent. If these numbers that come from the Public Ministry are accurate, they demonstrate our drama. The reduction is important, but the degree of impunity is high.

The justice system must improve in order to deter criminals and assassins. And Congress? They continue on without making any decisions that actually benefit the public. The Arms and Ammunition act was passed a few years ago due to social pressures, but in the end it was not the best solution.

Violent people will always exist. Insane people, criminals and murderers will not cease. The only way to reduce their negative impact on our societies is to do something effective to counter them.

*Editor’s Note: Adam Lanza was 20 years old.



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