HomeNewsBriefBanners Pledge 'Zetas' Support for Drug Legalization
BRIEF

Banners Pledge 'Zetas' Support for Drug Legalization

GUATEMALA / 13 MAR 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

Banners calling on President Otto Perez to legalize drugs, signed in the name of the Zetas, have appeared in Guatemala City, but are unlikely to be the work of the drug gang.

One banner, hung on a major street, read, "Perez and [vice president] Baldetti, legalize drugs and we will support the fight against the maras [street gangs]." Another banner read, "Thank you General Otto and Baldetti for legalizing drugs." Both were signed "Zeta 200."

Perez's spokesperson said the president thought the banners were a ploy by his opponents. Since taking office in January, Perez has called for debate on the issue of drug legalization.

InSight Crime Analysis

In Mexico, the Zetas often leave public messages to threaten their enemies or announce their plans. There are examples of them using this strategy in Guatemala; in May 2011, a group of alleged Zetas were caught trying to hang banners which blamed the Gulf Cartel for the massacre of 27 farm laborers earlier that month.

In January, messages purporting to be from the group were hung in the Peten department, berating outgoing President Alvaro Colom for supposedly turning back on agreements with the Zetas. It is not clear whether these were indeed left by the group or by enemies of the president.

"Z-200" is the alias of a Zetas commander based in Guatemala, and is also the name used for the local Zetas cell. As InSight Crime has reported, commander Z-200 is thought to be the nephew of a high-ranking Mexican Zetas leader.

It seems unlikely that these latest banners were left by the Zetas, as, according to Perez's statements on drug legalization, the aim of the policy would be to destroy the revenue stream of trafficking groups. In addition, it would not be clear what the Zetas hoped to achieve with the banners, as having the support of the Zetas for his policy would not encourage Perez to follow it. It is more likely that they were hung by a group or individual with an interest in damaging Perez, by painting him as soft on crime to the point that the Zetas are rewarding him for his policies.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

GUATEMALA / 7 FEB 2022

In this run-down neighborhood in Guatemala City, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) does not exist. And yet, there are still a…

EL SALVADOR / 15 FEB 2021

Hopes are high in the Northern Triangle, that the arrival of Joseph Biden and his administration to the White House…

COCAINE / 18 MAY 2022

Early investigations indicate the CJNG is striking partnerships with drug rings in Guatemala that receive shipments of cocaine from Colombia…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…