The majority of people living below the poverty line in Guatemala are concentrated in rural, majority-indigenous areas where access to education and jobs are limited. Because few private security companies require their employees to have prior experience or a high level of schooling, many unemployed people from the rural areas flock to the capital to seek work as a security guard, allowing them to earn a salary without the need for credentials.
“Private security has become a labor option for a large section of society – namely displaced agricultural laborers,” says Dr. Argueta, the German researcher. “It works like an ‘arms sweatshop’: offering low wages, evading taxes and labor responsibilities, and contracting casual staff that lack qualifications.”In recent years, the government has tried to get a handle on the private security industry with new regulations but it is obvious that the new regulations, just like every other regulation in Guatemala, has has limited success. It's just not entirely clear whether it is the lack of financial resources, organizational capacity, or will. Perhaps, a combination of each I guess.