Guatemala and Mexico Unite Efforts to Combat Arms Trafficking

By Dialogo
June 23, 2011

The Guatemalan and Mexican governments agreed to work together to combat the
criminal gang of “Los Zetas” and other criminal groups.

The attorney-general of the Republic of Mexico, Marisela Morales Ibáñez, and
her Guatemalan counterpart, Claudia Paz y Paz, agreed to develop concrete mechanisms
for effectively fighting criminal gangs, according to a report published by

In the framework of a visit to Mexico by the Guatemalan attorney-general, who
heads the Guatemalan Public Prosecutor’s Office, the two officials highlighted
the exchange of experiences on the issue of controlling arms

In this regard, they agreed that criminal groups are acquiring arms and
explosives through intermediaries, in illegal establishments located along the two
countries’ shared border.

In a statement, they indicated that approval of the Arms and Ammunition Act
in Guatemala has implications for the possibility of carrying out coordinated
actions to control arms trafficking across Mexico’s southern border.

The Mexican attorney-general and her Guatemalan colleague reviewed issues
related to extraditions and reciprocal legal assistance, human trafficking, and arms
trafficking, and agreement was reached to identify needs in the area of exchanging
experiences and training, among other topics.

Experts from Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras are jointly analyzing the
psychological profile of Los Zetas, the bloodthirsty group characterized by
Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom, in an interview with EFE, as “a
crime supermarket” that operates in these countries and is dedicated to
assassination, kidnapping, extortion, and a wide range of drug-trafficking
activities, the Mexican newspaper El Universal reported on its Web
site on 17 June.

“We’re doing analysis work with Mexico and Honduras, in order to obtain a
psychiatric diagnosis of this group, because they’re a very peculiar criminal
phenomenon,” Colom said.

Colom warned that the violence generated by drug trafficking in Central
America “will push beyond the Rio Grande” and reach the United States if that
country does not accept its shared responsibility and firmly support the region in
combatting criminal groups.