Guatemala's Gangland

Welcome to Guatemala City, where street kids as young as eight kill in cold blood and neighbourhoods pay taxes to their local gang. While the violence is getting worse, innocent people suffer in silence.

If a kid gets caught killing, he only gets six years. Sleepy is a senior member of a notorious gang. Vulnerable kids are actively recruited by the gangs and sent on murder missions. In a macabre initiation rite, they are forced to kill someone they know. I told them I wanted to be part of the gang because I didn't have the warmth of a family. They told me I had to kill a friend of mine. This is meant to turn them into cold-blooded killing machines. Candys husband and daughter were unfortunate victims of this never-ending violence. They started shooting. She saw how they were shooting at her father's legs and he was shot in the chest. Their only crime was to be on the street at the wrong time. The gangs make their money from extortion, murders and selling drugs. Sleepy is unapologetic. Juan, however, went from being one of the most feared killers in Guatemala to a reformed Christian. I want to find a job, and become a new person. To be an example, so people can say: 'If he's done it, so can we.'' But hes been green lit, which means members of his old gang will kill him on sight. Will he be the next corpse on the streets of Guatemala City?

Produced by SBS, distributed by Journeyman Pictures

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