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Mexican Drug Cartel Zetas Infiltrating Guatemala With "Total Impunity"

Mary Slosson |
December 19, 2010 | 7:53 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

The Guatemalan army has moved against Mexican drug traffickers who have been operating in the province of Alta Verapaz with "total impunity," according to government spokesperson Ronaldo Robles. 

The Zetas, one of Mexico's powerful drug cartels, have been operating in the Guatemalan province for over a year.  The police force in Alta Verapaz has been "totally infiltrated by the Zetas," according to Robles.  Zetas, and other Mexican drug cartels, have infamously infiltrated the local, state, and federal police -- as well as the national army -- in their home turf in Mexico.

The Guatemalan army will be allowed to hold suspects and conduct searches without a warrant for at least 30 days, according to Robles.  In addition, each car entering or exiting the provincial capital of Coban was being inspected.

The move follows the model of army involvement in the drug wars first used by Mexican president Felipe Calderon, who involved the national Mexican army in the "War on Drugs" a mere ten days after assuming office in 2006.

The war on drugs in Mexico has resulted in over 3,000 deaths in 2010 alone, and over 30,000 deaths since 2007 -- more than the number of fatalities suffered by U.S. troops in the war in Iraq.


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