The Zetas, Mexico’s most feared and violent criminal organization, have moved operations to Guatemala, penetrating local police forces and the military. They have made alliances with locals that permit them to launder their proceeds through agribusiness and public works contracts. They have also introduced a new way of operating. Beyond controlling the distribution chains and infrastructure needed to run the day-to-day operations, the Zetas are focused on controlling territory. In this they are the experts, creating a ruthless and intimidating force that is willing to take the fight to a new, often macabre level.
Criminal groups are reportedly stealing and selling parts of electrical towers in northern Mexico, in yet another example of these organizations looking for new revenue streams as the country's underworld fragments. Read More
A report allegedly produced for US anti-drug and intelligence agencies has detailed how corrupt factions of Guatemala's police -- including high-level officers -- dedicate themselves to stealing and reselling drug shipments, among other illicit activities. Read More
Guatemala's Constitutional Court (CC) has suspended the election of high court magistrates, following outcry from judicial officials over corruption in the selection process -- a positive move toward reform, but one that could still be derailed. Read More
A little known, but powerful drug trafficker from Guatemala thought to be connected to the highest levels of the country’s political establishment is in US custody, a fact that may have the political elite scrambling to cover its tracks. Read More
Every day, enormous handmade rafts cross the Suchiate river, located in the municipality of Ayutla in Guatemala's San Marcos province, carrying tons of goods from Mexico to Guatemala and vice versa. The Tecun Uman customs office is close to one of the most colorful "blind spots" along the border, but few bother with the paperwork required by the Guatemalan trade authority (SAT), waiting for authorization to cross, or paying taxes to move a product from one place to another. The river flows and the clocks tick. Neither ever stops, and nor does the contraband. Read More