Guatemala Communities Clash Over Opium Crops Allegedly Tied to Mexico Cartels

5/15/2017 InSight Crime

GuatemalaGuatemala has declared a state of emergency in a border area where two local communities employed by rival Mexican cartels are fighting over poppy cultivation, a local conflict that is just one battle in a regional war for the heroin market.

Guatemala’s government declared a “state of siege” on May 11 in the Ixchiguán and Tajumulco municipalities of the San Marcos department near the border with Mexico, after an outbreak of violence between the inhabitants of both municipalities and security forces. According to a May 11 Interior Ministry press release, the state of emergency will be in effect for thirty days.

Interior Minister Francisco Rivas argued that the measure was necessary to disarm civilians in the area and restore the authorities’ control, after the failure of more than a year of discussions with the belligerent parties, Prensa Libre reported.

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