Guatemala: Children in fear: street children and street educators continue to be targeted
AI has received deeply disturbing reports in the past two years of human rights violations, including killings, torture and "disappearances" carried out against street children in Guatemala City. In some cases the perpetrators are reported to be members of the security forces, sometimes acting in plain clothes; other abuses were reportedly committed by agents of licenced private security firms. The violations described occurred in a context of police claims of a spiralling crime rate: a special task force, Hunapu ("Hunters") came into force in February 1992 to combat street crime. The cases of 24 children are described here; AI is also concerned about threats and assaults directed against those working with these children and about intimidation of witnesses to human rights violations.