Nearly 64,000 people were victims of extortion in Guatemala between 2008 and 2018, according to statistics released on Friday by a humanitarian organization.
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Extortion is one of the most common crimes in Guatemala, affecting men more than women, a new study released by the humanitarian group, Mutual Support Group (GAM).
The GAM organization has made efforts to spread awareness and limit the number of victims with little avail as the number of crimes continue to climb.
Not only do Guatemalan families suffer the economic effects associated with extortion, but also deeper and far more damaging psychological scars are left behind due to the crime.
According to state authorities, between 2008 and 2018, over 63,380 cases were reported nationwide, GAM reports. However, the actual figure is likely to be double, the organization said.
Gangs are primarily responsible for the climbing figures, targeting without discretion, eight year olds to eighty-year old seniors. The most common victims are between the ages of 20 and 49 with over 33,737 cases reported in the last eight years.