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.
Guatemala's president has announced that he will seek to renew the mandate of a United Nations-backed anti-impunity body, extending the lifespan of a controversial effort that, despite several important achievements, has proved unable to sufficiently reform the country's judicial system. Read More
A Guatemalan recently accused of laundering money for Honduran criminal network the Valles has a curious backstory: he previously served time in the US, and apparently returned to Guatemala to become a major operator in the cash smuggling trade. Read More
Authorities in Guatemala have arrested two high-level current and former government officials -- as well as eighteen other suspects -- for customs fraud. Nevertheless, the accused may be facing light punishment given the country's culture of impunity for political elites. Read More
Authorities in Mexico have captured the head of the Sinaloa Cartel's Central American operations, likely provoking even greater upheaval in Honduras' criminal underworld. Read More
On March 18, InSight Crime published an article analyzing the implications of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's consultancy work in Central America. Juan Zapata, the Executive Director of Fundesa, an organization that hired Giuliani to perform consultancy work in Guatemala, responded to InSight Crime's article here. Below is InSight Crime writer and researcher Michael Lohmuller's response to Mr. Zapata commentary. Read More