Insight Crime, 7/26/2012
On Juy 22, Excelsior reported that, according to officials from the Mexican Attorney General’s Office (PGR), two of the country’s most “dangerous and sadistic” drug cartels — the Zetas and the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) — had received training from Central America’s notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). The paper claims that in the PGR’s response to a public information request, officials maintained that the gang instructed elements of the two cartels in ultraviolent acts like beheadings and mutilations in a bid to help them “terrorize” their rivals. This had resulted in over 5,000 cases involving decapitation and/or dismemberment between 2007 and September 2011.
The report comes amid heightened concern over the street gang’s seemingly rising profile. In March the MS-13 joined its rival gang, Barrio 18, in announcing a bilateral cease fire·in El Salvador, a development which has some analysts worried that both groups are seeking to develop into more mature, organized criminal outfits.