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Guatemala Drug Problem Growing

It is naïve to think that the drug war currently causing problems in Mexico is confined to Mexico alone. Signs are emerging that indicate Guatemala, Mexico’s neighbor to the south - is being drawn into the ongoing conflict. According to a recent VOA News report, the problem is bigger than anticipated.

This report noted that the head of the U.N. commission focused on eliminating corruption in Guatemala has resigned amid drug gang influence on law enforcement officials. Reportedly, Carlos Castresana is abandoning his effort in Guatemala due to the failure of the government to reform its judicial system. He also accused the country’s Attorney General of having ties to organized crime.

While these accusations have been denied, there have been increasing signs throughout the last two years that drug trafficking gangs from Mexico continue to infiltrate Guatemala. Myrna Mack Foundation head, Helen Mack reports there is evidence that the Mexican Zetas gang has entered Guatemala.

Mack noted that one of the main Zetas leaders was captured, as well as one of the main Guatemalan leaders. Since these arrests, a number of massacres have occurred in Guatemala as the government lacks the necessary ability and man power to handle the problem.

It is reported that a number of Mexican drug gangs are successfully operating in Guatemala, although the Zetas seem to have had the most success. This group has been hit hard in Mexico, pushing the group to the south where they can gain more ground and build up power.

There is much disagreement over how the situation in Mexico and Guatemala should be handled, although the U.N. situation demonstrates the problem is bigger than merely an international presence can affect. The power of the cartels is growing the nation and without a worthy adversary, they could eventually dominate.

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