2012-05-16

Guatemalan Government to Use Kaibiles to Curb Incursion by Cartels

The Kaibiles are a special-operations unit of the Guatemalan Army. These elite Soldiers specialize in jungle and counterinsurgency operations. (Photo: AFP)

The Kaibiles are a special-operations unit of the Guatemalan Army. These elite Soldiers specialize in jungle and counterinsurgency operations. (Photo: AFP)

AFP

The Guatemalan government has decided to use agents from the Army’s Kaibil special forces to curb the incursion of drug cartels into Guatemalan territory, Military spokesperson Colonel Rony Urízar announced.

According to the announcement, made public by state news agency Agencia Guatemalteca de Noticias (AGN), “the brigade is going to be installed on June 30, because the defense of the population is a responsibility of this armed institution, and it will be supported with public safety and citizen security upon combating organized crime.”

The Military spokesperson maintained that “the Kaibil battalion will be made up of 300 service members, who will be backed up by 500 soldiers and will have an area of about 300 square kilometers of activity, specifically in the municipality of La Libertad, Petén (in northern Guatemala, on the border with Mexico).”

This Military unit will be made up of snipers and experts in search-and-rescue operations, nighttime incursions, demolition, and hostage rescue.

The Kaibiles are Soldiers trained to operate in adverse conditions and currently form part of the peace-keeping contingents that the United Nations (UN) has in place in different countries.

“They’re going to be fully involved in operational activity in the department of Petén, which is one of those that has the greatest incidence of drug-trafficking movements and other illicit activities. The state’s presence in that area is going to be restored,” Urízar maintained to AGN.

The Military spokesperson also explained that the Defense Ministry is already considering the creation of a new mixed unit, made up of Military and police personnel, to try to control another conflict zone, Tecún Umán (San Marcos, in western Guatemala), located just across the border from Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas.

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