Julie López writes, in El Faro English, on the strengthening of narco-trafiking interests in Guatemala providing links between Colombia and Mexico, noting the influence at various levels of the Government and military.
Northwestern Guatemala has been known for years as Sinaloa Cartel associates’ territory, except during the Zetas’ stint in the area from 2008 to 2012 and, more recently, when Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) began fighting off Sinaloa to take over drug trafficking routes in Chiapas, Mexico.
Inevitably, the fight spilled across the border into Huehuetenango, 130 miles northwest of Guatemala City.
However, in March 2022, the U.S. Treasury revealed that local drug traffickers in this area, named Los Huistas after a province of Huehuetenango, are moving cocaine into Mexico for both CJNG and the Sinaloa Cartel. At first glance, the fact that one local group is trafficking for two Mexican organizations who consider themselves nemeses may seem unnatural in the narco-world.
“I was surprised by the fact that the Huistas could do business with the two most important groups in Mexico and that, despite the fact that they are enemies, they allow the Huistas to supply cocaine to both of them,” says Francisco Jiménez, former Guatemalan minister of governance (2009) and head of the Civil Intelligence Office (Digici) from 2007 to 2008. “It conveys an ability to negotiate, and that [the Mexican traffickers are saying], ‘It’s better not to fight, and sit this one out, because this is an important supplier,’” he concludes.
“It’s a cooperative manner of doing business. It’s no longer a single-group operation, but a cluster of people with similar interests,” Jiménez says.
You can read the full article, including links, photos, and an audio version, here, The Guatemalan Link between Jalisco New Generation Cartel and FARC Dissidents.