Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Zetas in Guatemala

According to EFE, the Zetas in Guatemala have promised terrorist attacks in the northern state of Alta Verapaz, where a bunch of heavyweights have been captured in recent weeks.

Thankfully, terrorist tactics haven't been a regular part of the Zetas modus operandi in Mexico. This makes me wonder how close the links between the groups calling themselves Zetas in Guatemala and in Mexico are. Guatemalans have been included among arrests of Zetas in Mexico for years, but the number of them is relatively low. Likewise, the leader of the 22 Guatemalan Zetas recently arrested was a Guatemalan military officer, and only one of the bunch was Mexican. The gang is often painted as a drug-smuggling group, but more than any of the other big-time DTOs, its income seems to come from locally generated activities like extortion, for which a transnational network isn't necessary. It may be that the Guatemalan Zetas are taking orders from Tamaulipas, but it seems just as likely that there are some people in Guatemala who became part of the Zetas in Mexico in the past, but now operate with a great deal of autonomy in their home country.

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