Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mexican Gang Moves Into Guatemala

El Petén province, a vast stretch of wilderness in northern Guatemala known for its rainforests and stunning Mayan pyramids at Tikal, is fast becoming a stronghold for a notoriously bloodthirsty Mexican cartel. Last month, soldiers entered a cattle ranch in El Petén to find the remains of a brutal human slaughter: Twenty-seven bodies strewn across the property and a pile of heads thrown over a fence. On a wall was a message written in blood and signed "Z200," a moniker authorities say belongs to a local wing of Mexico's Los Zetas. Authorities said the massacre at Los Cocos ranch, which included two women, was the nation's largest since its 36-year civil war ended in 1996. The growing presence is a topic high on the minds of U.S. leaders, who claim more than 60% of cocaine bound to their country passes through Guatemala. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is set to lead talks in Guatemala City with Central American leaders on how the U.S. can better assist them against drug traffickers...more

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