On Sunday morning, 27 people were killed and beheaded in northern Guatemala following a raid on a dairy ranch in Caserio La Bomba. The incident has been described as the worst massacre in Guatemala for over 15 years. Amid growing suspicion that the attack may be linked to the rising presence of the Mexican Zeta drug cartel in Guatemala, the massacre may also point to the wider responsibilities of Mexico’s drug war.
Caserio La Boma is located in the northern Guatemalan province of Petén, which has become a popular contraband drugs route between the US and South America. Police are investigating whether the recent massacre could be linked to the killing last Saturday of Haroldo Leon, the brother of Guatemalan alleged drug trafficker Juan Jose “Juancho” Leon. In March 2008, Leon was killed alongside 10 other people in an ambush in eastern Guatemala. The ambush was a result of rising tensions between the Zetas and a Guatemalan drug gang over a turf war for control of drug smuggling routes.
The Zetas have been blamed for two recent mass killings in Mexico. Last month over 180 bodies were found in mass graves, and 72 migrants were massacred last summer in the state of Tamaulipas, which is close to the Texan border. These revelations, and the rising numbers of casualties and fatalities, have shown that there is still a huge question mark hanging over Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s anti-drug trafficking campaign. The r…