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.
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.