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Released on 2012-03-01 10:00 GMT

Email-ID 363668
Date 2011-05-19 16:40:03

On 5/19/11 9:11 AM, Reginald Thompson wrote:

Reginald Thompson

Cell: (011) 504 8990-7741



From: "Colby Martin"
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:59:41 AM

By saying the elites represent the state we mean so in terms of
practicality. If you look back over the history of Guatemala, the
landed elites ARE the government/economy. During the conflict it was
these elites and the CIA who overthrew the Guzman government after they
became fearful the United Fruit Company wasn't the last landowners who
were going to lose their unused land. Sandra (and any other candidate)
will always have problems with the elites when they seek the indigenous
vote because the elites believe (and correctly) that they are the
country, and without them you may when a popular vote, but you won't
have any actual power to speak of. For all intent, they believe
themselves to be Guatemala, and in their minds without them the country
is nothing more than a collection of tribes (and they mean that as
racist as it sounds).

This attack is significant and "different" for a few reasons. It is the
worst massacre in Guatemala since 96. Guatemalans themselves (who live
with constant violence) are particularly spooked by this event, the
savagery of it, and the fact that civilians were killed for no other
reason than they were there. It is obvious they did not have the
intelligence the Zetas were after, and more than likely the Zetas
already knew where Salguero was and what he was doing. So the question
is, why kill a bunch of poor farmers who don't know something you
already do know?
It is seen as an attack on both aspects of society, the indigenous
trabajadores and the landed elite, with the message being "we are here
and if you get in the way you are dead." The use of Mexican Zetas
instead of Guatemalans (according to a survivor) is also significant
because of the politics in the region. When I was there in 2006-2007
the Colombians were pushing into Guatemala to take over the drug
corridors. Sure it wasn't just the Colombian links to the Zetas, BLO,
Chapo, etc? These guys tend to come up from the south to hand over
drugs, conduct business with Mexicans and Central Americans, etc but
they don't "control" the routes The story on the Columbians was
anecdotal. Have a good friend who is ex D2/G2 who told me that one of
our buddies had just been killed by Colombians outside of Moralas (where
some of these workers killed in the massacre were from) and that the
Colombians were pushing into Guatemala to take over the trade. He said
that he thought it was "funny" the Colombians thought they could just
"take over" as this was Guatemala and it would always be controled by
Guatemalans. His point was that they wouldn't scare easily, and if that
is what the Colombians thought, they were in for a suprise. The
Guatemalans fought back with particular ferocity, because Guatemala was
going to be run by Guatemalans, and no one else. The Mexican cartels
seem to understand this, and although there are Mexican DTOs in the
country, it is so because they work WITH the Guatemalans who control the
routes . Even if this was a one off attack on Otto Salguero and his
family, the use of Mexicans would still be significant. In a country
where having someone killed cost about 7 USD, it was unnecessary unless
their was a larger point being made.

I think the cartels are gearing up for something we long knew was
coming. They are possibly no longer willing to share the spoils with
the Guatemalans, and so they are now willing to push the war into
Guatemala on a larger scale in order to take the routes Sure that's not
reading too much into this though? It could just be a case of "remember
who we are, don't fuck with us", not so much a message of rejection to
the Guatemalans. It absolutly could be reading too much into it, and
that is why we should hedge that is a possibility, not a certainty. But
considering the issues we speak of in the piece, I do not believe this
was just a heads up. This of course will bring in the military but not
to stop the violence, but to secure the routes for Sandra and her ilk I
think we may be getting a little ahead of ourselves in saying this. I
mean yes, in practical terms, when you consider the amount of former and
current military men involved in drug trafficking (plus the rumors of
Torres's involvement in this), the military does have the effect of
securing the routes for these people. However, I don't think this is the
primary reason, nor should we even consider it that. Remember that, when
the Zetas kill 27 people in Peten, the Guatemalan gov't faces some real
pressures from abroad (read: the US) and domestically (from the general
public and businesses that are freaked out over these killings). In
practice, yes, the army acts as the biggest cartel, just as in Mexico.
But they're also a tool to be used by the gov't in an actual CT role
(albeit somewhat ineffectively). It's more multi-faceted than just
saying that they'll roll in simply seize the routes. .Yes, I wrote this
in context to my theories above. I defintely believe the military will
have a CT role to play, but the biggest fear is the military becoming
involved, because no matter their intentions, they would not be able to
resist the DTO's and the money. Just as Stick has argued that the
longer the Mexican Army is involved in the fight against DTO's, the more
chance their is of their corruption. The expansion of the military's
role in Guatemala is something the people are stuggling with. Yes they
need protection, but do they trust the military to provide it? What I
am hearing from sources is that by drawing the military into any
conflict is a worst case scenario, and one the Guatemalans themselves
are terrified of. It is also precisely what just happened.

On 5/19/11 7:59 AM, Reva Bhalla wrote:

also 'grisly', 'horrific', etc.

the elite landowners don't 'represent' the state.... in fact, Sandra
has a real problem on her hands with the landed elite the more she
tries to go down the populist/indigenous vote grabbing route. The
landed elite are a powerful part of the state, but represent is not
the right word

i also don't see the basis for this claim "We expect this to be the
beginning of a trend which will have dramatic effect upon the
geopolitics of the country and the greater Central American region. "

what is this supposed dramatic effect on the geopolitics of Guatemala
and CA? The Zetas have been there for a long time, likely with the
cooperation of Sandra Torres and her allies. The Zetas also use
messages like this to intimidate all the time. This analysis treats
the event as if something radically new is happening. The mass
killing is notable for sure, but I really do not see this at all
having a fundamental impact on Central American geopolitics


From: "Sean Noonan"
To: "Analyst List"
Cc: "Writers@Stratfor. Com" , "scott stewart"

Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2011 7:55:48 AM

Please take these loaded words out of the analysis as I suggested
massacre (it's a mass murder)
sadistic (this is now a 'personality disorder' and we are not
shrinks. Please describe in dry, tactical terms)
slaughter (we simply don't use words like this)
On 5/18/11 6:42 PM, Victoria Allen wrote:

On the night of 14/15 May, 27-29 Guatemalan laborers were
slaughtered on the farm of a regional landowner near the village of
San Benito, Peten Department, Guatemala's northernmost province. The
mass killing appears to be the work of Mexico's Los Zetas cartel,
due to the combination of the cartel's known presence in the region,
its control of Chiapas and Campeche states [LINK:]
bordering Peten on the north and west, and the grisly display of
beheaded and dismembered victims. Somewhat out of character, though,
was that they wrote the narco-message on a wall of a building with
blood - using a victim's leg as the writing implement - which is not
common for Los Zetas. However it has become clear over the last two
years that Los Zetas tend to kill victims in particularly sadistic
ways when time allows and a message needs to be sent - the result
being a fearsome reputation. That this event occurred and involved
Los Zetas, is not what makes the massacre significant. When taken
together, several unusual aspects of this event present the
probability that a significant shift is in progress in the dynamics
of Zeta activities in northern Guatemala.

Peten Department is remote, underdeveloped, and the people are
strongly independent and distrustful of the Guatemalan government
(this will be rewritten/reworked by Colby to convey more accurately
in a single sentence the significance of the culture of the region
vis-`a-vis outsiders, govt, kaibiles, etc...). It is known that Los
Zetas over the years have recruited many Guatemalan kaibiles [LINK:],
current or former Guatemalan special forces soldiers, to the point
that there is a high likelihood that Zetas operating in Guatemala,
the Yucatan, and southern Mexico are from Guatemala. Based upon
reported testimony of two of the survivors of the massacre the
attackers wore military-style fatigues (not uncommon), and that they
had Mexican accents. The presence of a large group of Mexican Zeta
enforcers leads to the possibility that this group was sent into
Peten Department for a specific purpose. In the context of a long
presence of Guatemalan Zetas in the region, we ask why this change
in operations came about.

Further, the surviving witnesses indicated that the gunmen were
demanding to know the whereabouts of the landowner, Otto Salguero,
and as the peasants had just arrived to work for Salguero the
previous week they would not have possessed any useful knowledge to
extract - as opposed to that which long-time employees likely would
possess. While interrogating the peasants regarding the whereabouts
of Salguero - who was not on the property at the time - the peasants
were killed, then methodically decapitated. But there are large
anomalies evident in the event.

According to reports from Latin American media, the Zeta force was
camped in a what was described as a redoubt nearby for several days
- most likely in surveillance of Salguero's residence and
activities, judging by the proximity of their camp to the target's
house - and as such probably knew that their apparent target was not
on the property when they attacked. Additionally it was reported
that, at the time the attack began, Salguero was attending the
funeral of his niece and her father-in-law - who had been killed the
previous day by Zetas when the pair were delivering ransom money for
another family member. The Zetas killed and beheaded the people they
were interrogating, presumably because the peasants could offer no
information, but the Zetas likely knew where their target was - and
why. The conflicting information then points to the potential that
Los Zetas slaughtered the peasants knowing they were not relevant to
whatever activities Salguero was engaged in that made him a Zeta
target in the first place. There are indications in the media that
Salguero's activities have been counter to Zeta interests for
several years, however as there is little clarity yet in this aspect
of the chain of events, STRATFOR is in the process of corroborating
rumored connections before giving them credence in analysis on this

Regarding the contradiction of reported information and historical
evidence, another element in play is the leaving of witnesses: Los
Zetas typically does not do so unless the group wishes to deliver a
pointed message, though there have been occasions when a victim has
"played dead" until the Zetas depart, as occurred at the massacre of
the Central American migrants in San Fernando last year [LINK:].
As reported in Guatemalan news on the event, while one survivor did
so by "playing dead" after he was wounded, a woman was specifically
and pointedly spared. She apparently was told by the Zeta leader
that she would be spared because of her daughters, who were with her
and reportedly whom she had attempted to protect by covering them
with her body. As it happens the woman is pregnant as well, but that
may not have played into the decision to allow her to live. What is
not known at this point about the Zetas sparing her and her
children, is what message she may have been specifically instructed
to convey after the event came to light.

There remains a great deal of uncertain or uncorroborated
information surrounding the massacre in Peten. STRATFOR is
monitoring the developments closely, for there are many questions to
be answered. It is clear though, from the known facts and the
identified anomalies, that a profound message was being sent. Based
upon the available information STRATFOR's initial take is that the
message was the violence, that because Mexicans were used rather
than Guatemalans, Los Zetas are there, no one is safe - from the
average peasant to the elite landowners (who represent the state).
The more gruesome the scene created by Los Zetas, the more it will
remind the Guatemalan people of the horrific acts of the death
squads during that country's 36 year civil war - and the death
squads were kaibiles, who now are aligned with Los Zetas. The
connection will have been made. The primal fear this event instilled
in Guatemalans has been evidenced by STRATFOR's sources in that
country flatly refusing to discuss or even acknowledge it as having
happened. We expect this to be the beginning of a trend which will
have dramatic effect upon the geopolitics of the country and the
greater Central American region. The second part of this discussion,
next week, will examine those wider implications which we perceive
to have been triggered by the massacre at San Benito.

Victoria Allen
Tactical Analyst (Mexico)
Strategic Forecasting
"There is nothing more necessary than good intelligence to frustrate
a designing enemy, & nothing requires greater pains to
obtain." -- George Washington


Sean Noonan

Tactical Analyst

Office: +1 512-279-9479

Mobile: +1 512-758-5967

Strategic Forecasting, Inc.