Today in Latin America
Top Story — Guatemalan authorities say there is evidence that Mexico’s Zetas drug cartel and Central America’s Mara Salvatruchas (MS-13) have formed a pact to control drug-trafficking routes from South America to the United States. Jailhouse recordings have suggested that the Zetas are providing military equipment and training to the Maras in exchange for information and strategic criminal activity. The Salvadoran government has confirmed that there are informal links between the two gangs to sell drug shipments, but has no proof of a formal agreement. The Maras gang originated in California, formed by young Salvadorans displaced and hardened by the country’s civil war, and enjoys major influence in urban slums in Central America. The Guatemalan government claims that the Zetas are operating a training camp for Maras and plan to recruit at least 5,000 members of the gang. Mexican and U.S. officials have declined to comment on the reported alliance.
Read more from the Washington Post.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The Canada-based Nobel Women’s Initiative, lead by two Nobel laureates, has found that violence against women in Mexico has increased since the militarization of the country’s war on drugs.
- Mississippi’s Senate killed a controversial new immigration bill that easily passed the House last month.
- A cruise ship for Royal Caribbean that was leaving Jamaica rescued 23 Cuban migrants who had been adrift at sea for three weeks and turned them over to Mexican authorities.
- At least 20 people were killed in a road accident Saturday just south of Port-au-Prince.
- To protest their mistreatment in Mexico, Central American migrants staged a mock crucifixion of one of their compatriots, who was tied to a cross atop a train migrants frequently use to enter Mexico.
- Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina said that drugs should be not simply legalized but regulated in a way similar to tobacco and alcohol.
- Six Colombian troops and three FARC rebels were killed in an attack that the Colombian military said involved explosives.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez returned to Cuba on Saturday for a third round of radiation therapy to fight his cancerous tumor.
- Peru is trying to keep nine trapped miners alive by providing them food and drink while rescue workers try to free them.
- A Bolivian bus drove into a ravine in Argentina, killing 10 and injuring at least 40. The bus held at least 69 passengers.
- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will make her first official trip to Washington D.C. on Monday to visit with U.S. President Barack Obama prior to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia.
- U.S. politician Newt Gingrich said he’d like to see the U.S. adopt a “Chilean model” for Social Security.
Image: xiaozhuli @ Flickr.