Guatemala Declares State of Siege Over Cartel-Dominated Province
The Guatemalan military has seized the Alta Verapaz province claiming it is dominated by the Los Zetas drug cartel.
A state of siege allows the army to detain suspects without warrants, conduct warrantless searches, prohibit gun possession and public gatherings, and control the local news media. Guatemalan law allows the measure amid acts of terrorism, sedition or "rebellion," or when events "put the constitutional order or security of the state in danger."
The siege will last 30 days but can be extended. The Patriotic Party opposes the plan:
The state of siege...is meaningless "if we continue to have police corruption, a weak justice system and weak jails," added David Martinez Amador, an analyst and expert on criminal behavior.
In addition to the Zetas, authorities believe Guatemala is now home to Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán of the Sinaloa cartel.
Also of note: It appears our military is secretly training the Guatemalan military for the fight against the cartels.
A press statement from the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala said the U.S. Army’s Southern Command has made “a commitment to training in response to an invitation from the army of Guatemala.” The training includes air assault operations, sniper attacks and explosives training.
The media has located the training camp, "150 miles north of the country’s capital."
The U.S. Navy is also lending a helping hand to Guatemala's drug war.
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