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Crackdown on Contraband Along Guatemala's Northern Border

LADB Article ID: 79103
Category/Department: Guatemala
Date: 2013-10-03
By: Louisa Reynolds

The Talismán-El Carmen border crossing between Mexico and Guatemala is a hub of activity. It’s 8 a.m. and a long line of Guatemalans on bicycles and cycle rickshaws are waiting to cross the border. Many are farm laborers who commute to Mexico on a daily basis to work on agricultural plantations; others go to Mexico to purchase groceries and other goods. Although these goods might be legally purchased in Mexican territory they are then sold in Guatemala’s local markets, which is a criminal offense as it creates a price distortion that affects local producers who are driven out of business. The Comisión Nacional Contra el Contrabando (CONACON), a multisector coordinating body that includes business representatives and various government security bureaus, estimates that some 30.000 Guatemalan families are involved in piecemeal contraband.

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