Mexican gunmen from the Gulf’s drug cartel, Los Zetas, have threatened to assassinate Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom. The National Civilian Police received the threat on Saturday that Los Zetas would assassinate the president later that day. Security around the president was tightened and no attempts were reported.
Los Zetas were created in 1999 after 40 former Mexican soldiers left the special forces and began to do mercenary work for the Gulf Cartel. Today the squad is considered to be the most dangerous and best armed of the Mexican drug cartels. Officials believe drug traffickers are crossing over to Guatemalan territory due to increasing pressure from Mexico and the United States.
But the recent threats have not stopped Guatemala’s operations against trafficking. On Monday, President Colom swore in a new unit of elite anti-drug police as part of the Merida Initiative, a U.S. aid program that will provide $1.4 billion to Mexico and Central America’s fight against drug cartels. The new unit consists of approximately 48 policemen and soldiers who will receive training from U.S. agents and military personnel.