Activities in Guatemala

In Guatemala, a corrupted government still poses a big threat to ongoing efforts of the country to break free from its turbulent past or opression, trauma and violence. Although a peace accord, signed in 1996, ended a 36-year armed conflict, corruption and violence still remains artefacts of everyday life. Within the past year, Guatemala's national police, vetrans of the intelligence and its security service have been involved in multiple incidences of drug trafficking and criminal ganga. The instability within the government has caused a re-emergence of violence in the country, resulting in Guatemala's homicide rate to rise amongst the world's top ten, and highest in Latin America.

Furthermore, insecurities generated by rising interpersonal violence including the instutionalized killing of women and the armed assult and murder of civilans and bus drivers have resulted in the fear and instability of daily life of Guatemalans. Yet the impact of political violence goes beyond the loss of life and destruction of physical infrastructure. Violence in the country has resulted in a psychological impact affecting mental health. Nevertheless, in the past two years, the TGH program has made important strides toward increasing public awareness in the isses of mental health. With the leadership of Victor Lopez, issues of mental health have been brought to the forefront of research. Recently, through a collaborative effort with the Universidad Nacional San Carlos de Guatemala, Victor Lopez and his team were able to conduct a "national mental health survey". This was the first ever national mental health level survey to take place, and the TGH program led this initiative through its training and resources of medical students in Guatemala.

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