Authorities request that EVERYONE report crimes to make our cities safer. There are a few different police agencies. Here is information nationwide and specifically for La Antigua Guatemala.
The PNC—Policía Nacional Civil—is the main national police force and is within the Ministry of Government. The police commissary also reports to the governor of each department. You will see them around the country in black uniforms and black pick-ups. They are in charge of making arrests for criminal activities and working with the local civil and criminal courts for jail sentences. The PNC is also found on national highways. Call 9734-6424 nationwide or 110 for emergencies. In Antigua, call 7934-6426 or 7934-6522.
An important branch of the PNC is USETUR (Unidad de Seguridad Turística), which also works hand-in-hand with the Guatemalan Tourism Commission (INGUAT). Call 2269-0041 nationwide. They are in charge of looking for lost tourists and work with ASISTUR (Tourist Assistance), which has offices at the same location. For ASISTUR call 1500 or 2421-2810 nationwide—open 24 hours.
The PMT—Policía Municipal de Tránsito—was set up a few years ago for each city to regulate traffic. Each city’s PMT is within the municipal government. Dressed in black and bright green uniforms, they direct city traffic and impose fines. They also post fines and puts boots—known as cepos—on vehicles but rarely tow vehicles, unless, of course, the vehicle is in the way of a procession.
There is a Security Council in Antigua with residents that meets with local and national authorities, including the mayor of Antigua and INGUAT, to deal with specific issues.
Antigua also has a special Plan Cuadrante Seguridad Preventiva program through the PNC. The historical center has been divided into 10 areas with more than 90 police officers dressed in black and bright orange vests assigned to each area.
Each business should know its cuadrante and the emergency phone number to call. There are 10 phone numbers to assure the fastest response. For more information call 4206-1664 and they will visit your business to provide more information.
Since Antigua is the city most visited by tourists in Guatemala, local authorities also set up the Policía Municipal de Turismo within the municipal government. This was a joint effort by the mayor and local businesses in the 1990s. They are located behind the market (Calle de la Recolección) and help in deterring pickpockets, whom they turn over to the PNC for arrest. The Policía Municipal de Turismo also works with USETUR and ASISTUR. For the Policía Municipal de Turismo call 7968-5303, 24 hours.
Category: Ask Elizabeth