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.
The United Nations has criticized Guatemala's increasingly militarized approach to combating insecurity, a rebuke that could easily be applied to other countries in Central America's Northern Triangle region. Read More
A prominent academic and US military official is the most recent voice to call for a “Plan Colombia” in Central America, a tenuous proposition that relies on oversimplified analogies and a questionable understanding of current conditions in the region. Read More
Rudy Giuliani -- the former New York City mayor touted as the mind behind a dramatic drop in crime in that city in the 1990s -- is offering some well-compensated advice to some of the poorest, most violent countries in Latin America, but his crime-reduction theories are based on a dubious concept and can be counterproductive. Read More
Nearly a week after two journalists were murdered in southern Guatemala, the government has implicated a local criminal group with commercial ties to the government in the killings. Read More