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6 former Guatemala soldiers linked to Mexican cartel

Sep 6, 2010 8:15 PM By Sapa-AFP

Mexican officials said Monday they were holding six former Guatemalan soldiers suspected of links to the Zetas, a drug cartel blamed for a wave of violence and considered one of the country’s most dangerous syndicates.

The federal prosecutor’s office said the six were being transferred to a prison in the eastern state of Veracruz after their links to the Zetas were confirmed.

Authorities said the men had originally been detained as illegal immigrants, and then escaped from an immigration centre in an operation believed to have been organized by the drug cartel. They were recaptured on April 22.

Much of the violence in the north-eastern Tamaulipas state is blamed on the Zetas, a brutal, well-trained group of former elite Mexican army commandos that the US government calls the most dangerous organized crime syndicate in Mexico.

The Zetas emerged in the late 1990s as hired guns for the powerful leader of the Gulf cartel, Osiel Cardenas.

The crime syndicate is believed to be responsible for the slaughtering of 72 illegal immigrants last month.

Source: Times Live