HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Ex-Special Forces Arrested Over Mexico Massacre
BRIEF

Guatemala Ex-Special Forces Arrested Over Mexico Massacre

GULF CARTEL / 24 MAY 2011 BY PATRICK CORCORAN EN

The governor of Tabasco state, Mexico, announced that a group of Guatemalan former special forces, known as Kaibiles were responsible for the massacre of ten people at an auto repair shop on May 17 in Cardenas.

The Kaibiles accused of the killing were among 11 people arrested on Saturday in Tabasco, though the government did not indicate how many of those arrested were former Guatemalan soldiers, reported Excelsior. The group had in their possession a number of assault rifles and a grenade launcher. In apparent retaliation for the arrests, an armed group attacked a state police patrol with grenades and gunfire on Saturday, wounding one police officer and at least one civilian.

“We have men and women arrested who carried weapons for shooting down helicopters and we got them, but that’s not enough, they tried to surprise us in San Joaquin [site of the attack on the police] and they think that with that they will terrorize us. Of course not, we are fighting against a faceless army, but there are more of us that seek to live well and work for our people and our family,” said Governor Andres Granier.

Days earlier, the governor had also said that Tabasco was in a state of war with organized crime.

Guatemala’s Kaibiles have been detected for several years in the ranks of Mexican drug gang the Zetas. Some point to the troops, many of whom have experience in the Guatemalan civil war that ended in 1996, as a factor contributing to the rising brutality in Mexico’s drug trade during the administration of Felipe Calderon.

The government also said that the massacre in Cardenas was part of an ongoing dispute between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel. The two groups, previously allies, have been in a bitter war since early 2010, with the battles raging across Mexico’s east coast, and even spilling into Guatemala.

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