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.

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

MEXICO / 23 OCT 2012

Mexico's northern Coahuila state has seen a series of heavy arms seizures in recent weeks, evidence that Mexico's police are…

GULF CARTEL / 16 NOV 2010

Mexico’s “Drug War” has generated its first displaced persons camp, consisting of 400 people taking shelter at a charity facility…

INFOGRAPHICS / 10 MAY 2012

Authorities in Jalisco, Mexico have discovered 18 human heads, along with other body parts, in two abandoned vehicles, possibly the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…