HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Increases Security in Response to Zetas Split
BRIEF

Guatemala Increases Security in Response to Zetas Split

GUATEMALA / 25 SEP 2012 BY EDWARD FOX AND VICTORIA ROSSI EN

Guatemala has increased security in seven provinces to prepare for violent spillover from the rift in the Zetas gang, though it remains to be seen if conflict between rival factions will spread further south than the group’s strongholds in Mexico.

Julio Rivera Claveria, Guatemalan vice minister of security, told La Prensa Libre, “There are specific plans in place for the possibility that there will be clashes between [Zetas factions] in [Guatemala], although I believe that this will be contained in Mexico.”

Claveria would not say where the government had focused its security measures, though Prensa Libre noted that the Zetas have been responsible for violence in the provinces of Zacapa, Peten, Alta Verapaz, El Progreso, Chiquimula, and Huehuetenango.

Reports of a split between the Zetas’ two main leaders — Heriberto Lazcano, alias “Z-3,” and Miguel Angel Treviño, alias “Z-40,” — first emerged at the end of July. According to Prensa Libre, the split was behind some 90 killings in Mexico in August. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The Zetas have long presented the Guatemalan government with problems, dating back to their arrival in the country in 2007. Their presence came to international attention last year when the group massacred 27 farm laborers in the northern province of Peten. In March this year, banners were hung in the province, signed in the name of the Zetas, which openly challenged the government, threatening attacks against civilians if the authorities continued to pursue them.

Read InSight Crime’s special on the Zetas in Guatemala

The Zetas split is likely to have the greatest ramifications in their powerbase in northeast Mexico. It remains to be seen how deep the fracture goes, and what impact it will have on their operations in Guatemala.

One possible outcome of the split is that the Zetas will withdraw to some extent from Guatemala, bringing back men to fight rival groups and keep hold of their Mexican territory. This in turn could increase the threat in Guatemala, throwing the country’s criminal world into a state of uncertainty.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 21 APR 2011

Forty-five Mexican police have been arrested over alleged ties to the Zetas cartel. The police are all from…

ELITES AND CRIME / 7 JUN 2016

The head of an internationally supported anti-corruption body says Guatemala is facing a problem of "structural corruption," suggesting that allegations…

MEXICO / 4 MAR 2015

The leader of the brutal Mexican drug trafficking organization the Zetas, Alejandro "Omar" Treviño Morales, alias "Z42," was reportedly captured…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…