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Smugglers recruiting another elite spec-ops unit

By See-Dubya  •  April 28, 2008 03:39 PM

Though it’s a familiar story, I find this development pretty alarming:

Guatemala is investigating radio advertisements seeking elite ex-soldiers, who have been known to work for drug cartels, to smuggle goods into Mexico, officials said on Thursday.

The ads were broadcast in the lawless northern jungle region of Peten, home to a tough military training center for Kaibil soldiers, infamous during Guatemala’s civil war as a brutal guerilla-fighting, special forces unit.

I don’t know whether or not this part means they’re tough, but it’s gross:

…the red-bereted Kaibil fighters were made to eat raw dog guts as part of their training.

Anyway, Mexico is rightly alarmed at the militarized smuggling coming over its southern border and, as regular readers of this site know, are receiving extensive U.S. aid to secure their own southern border.

Meanwhile, over our southern border (and occasionally north of it), another gang of elite ex-military operatives is working as enforcers and assassins for smugglers. From that same Reuters article:

More recently, beheadings of policemen and drug rivals in Mexico have been blamed on ex-Guatemalan soldiers working with the Zetas, a renegade unit that broke from the Mexican army to serve as the Gulf cartel’s enforcement arm.

The Zetas have used brazen advertising along the northern U.S.-Mexico border to recruit foot soldiers, stringing banners from bridges over main roads in the towns of Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo offering well-paid jobs.

Yet we’re not in quite so big a hurry to build our own fence, and when the stopgap virtual fence flamed out, everyone just shrugged and said “Hey, whatcha gonna do?”

This despite an unavoidable series of stories about violence and corruption occurring just over the border we don’t enforce. For example, how aboutTijuana turning into Sadr City this weekend?

Why has this happened? The security situation has not improved since a great coalition got together to take down the shamnesty bill last summer. Granted, employer verification measures have caused some self-deportation, and the Feds are working harder to deport criminals, but there doesn’t seem to be any mandate to develop measures that will actually keep them out.

So: why has border security lost its momentum?

P.S. All seriousness aside, let me head off some confusion about elite counterterror forces.





Know the difference!

If you’re interested in a good intro to the ongoing cartel wars in Mexico, here’s a good look from Stratfor. It’s about a year old, but I think the big picture’s still pretty accurate. Kaibil photo from here.

{Post by See-Dubya.}

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