El Salvador police inspect the recovered grenades

El Salvador's President Mauricio Funes said hundreds of grenades stolen from the country's military were intended for the Mexican criminal group the Zetas, illustrating possible arms trafficking links between the Mexican organization and the vaunted Salvadoran group known as the Texis Cartel.

Speaking on national television, the president said that 213 anti-tank grenades discovered at a house in the central town of El Congo were due to be transported to the Mexican criminal group by the Texis Cartel. Funes added that the grenades had been stolen from the Salvadoran army and active or ex-military personnel may be involved, reported La Prensa Grafica.

El Diario de Hoy had previously reported the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) was helping Salvadoran authorities establish the origin of the weapons after the discovery on October 8. The grenades were found at a house where another illegal arms cache had been found in 2010, according to La Prensa Grafica.

The discovery came a week after court proceedings opened against seven ex-military officials for dealing in stolen military grenades, with the Zetas among the reported buyers.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the involvement of military officials has not been officially confirmed, it is unlikely someone from outside could have committed such large-scale thefts from a military facility. If the Texis Cartel involvement is confirmed, it will offer yet more evidence of the group's reach into Salvadoran political and public life.

Rather than a cartel in the traditional sense, the Texis group, which takes its name from its purported home base of Texistepeque, is a sophisticated transportation network for drugs and other contraband. It has recently come under increasing pressure from Salvadoran authorities, after years of being shielded from justice by its high-level economic and political connections

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the Texis Cartel

The suggested links between the Texis Cartel and Zetas are credible: the Salvadoran group is known to offer its transportation services to anyone willing to pay and is involved with various transnational groups. The Zetas do not have an operational presence in El Salvador, but an arms dealing link between the Texis Cartel and the Zetas would, however, be an interesting new development as the government cranks up the pressure up on the local criminal organization. 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
Prev Next

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

  Drugs Extortion Criminal Cash Flows Millions of dollars in dirty money circulate constantly around Bajo Cauca, flowing upwards and outwards from a broad range of criminal activities. The BACRIM are the chief regulators and beneficiaries of this shadow economy.

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power.

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

The weapons trade within Honduras is difficult to monitor. This is largely because the military, the country's sole importer, and the Armory, the sole salesmen of weapons, do not release information to the public. The lack of transparency extends to private security companies, which do not have...

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Estimates vary widely as to how many legal and illegal weapons are circulating in Honduras. There are many reasons for this. The government does not have a centralized database that tracks arms seizures, purchases, sales and other matters concerning arms possession, availability and merchandising. The laws surrounding...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network.

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Honduras does not produce weapons,[1] but weapons are trafficked into the country in numerous ways. These vary depending on weapon availability in neighboring countries, demand in Honduras, government controls and other factors. They do not appear to obey a single strategic logic, other than that of evading...

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

As set out in this report, the legal structure around Honduras' arms trade is deeply flawed. The legislation is inconsistent and unclear as to the roles of different institutions, while the regulatory system is insufficiently funded, anachronistic and administered by officials who are overworked or susceptible to...

Venezuela Prisons: 'Pranes' and 'Revolutionary' Criminality

Venezuela Prisons: 'Pranes' and 'Revolutionary' Criminality

In May 2011, a 26-year-old prison gang leader held 4,000 members of the Venezuelan security forces, backed by tanks and helicopters, at bay for weeks. Humiliated nationally and internationally, it pushed President Hugo Chávez into a different and disastrous approach to the prison system.