MEXICO: Zetas Cartel Spreads Terror through South to Guatemala
A priest who shelters stranded migrants needs police protection. A chopped-up body turns up with a threatening message. Beheadings are on the rise. The local press is too frightened to write about any of it.
This is not northern Mexico, where drug gangs fight for turf along the U.S. border and the Mexican government wages an open battle against them. This is the south, where the brutal Zetas cartel is quietly spreading a reign of terror virtually unchallenged, all the way to the border with Guatemala — and across it.
Just as they have done in the north, groups claiming to be Zetas have set up criminal networks to control transit routes for drugs, migrants and contraband such as pirated DVDS, intimidating the populace and committing gruesome murders as an example to the uncooperative.
[...] The Mexicans say the Zetas have hired Guatemalan former counterinsurgency soldiers to train new recruits, and a Zetas training camp for hit men was uncovered on the Guatemalan border last year. The Associated Press (16 January 2011)