Guatemala Convicts 36 Members of Los Zetas

By Dialogo
July 03, 2012

A Guatemalan court has sentenced 36 people, considered members of the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas, to between two and 158 years in prison, the judicial branch announced.

The accused, several of them Mexican nationals, were found guilty of crimes such as kidnapping, murder, and narcotics trafficking, according to the details of the verdict against them.

Among the crimes attributed to those convicted are those against three members of one family in the department of Petén (in northern Guatemala) and against a public prosecutor in Cobán, Alta Verapaz (in northern Guatemala), whose body was dismembered. Both acts took place in May 2011.

Also included are an attack on a police patrol a year ago and threats against former president Álvaro Colom’s administration and against communications media in several departments of the country.

The authorities did not specify how many of those convicted are foreigners, although they indicate in the verdict that there are several Mexican citizens, including Salvador Argüelles Briones, convicted of the murder of prosecutor Allan Sotwlinsky.

According to the Guatemalan government, the Mexican cartel Los Zetas has been operating in nine of the country’s departments for five years.