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Guatemala increases security presence at borders after drug traffickers kill soldiers

Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2019. 10:43 am CST.

By BBN Staff:  Things could get tense at the border for Belizean military and ranger personnel after the Government of Guatemala increased the presence of security forces along its border points in response to soldiers being killed by suspected drug traffickers.

A group of nine soldiers was ambushed on Tuesday on their way to secure a downed aircraft believed to be used for smuggling narcotics. During the ambush, three soldiers were killed. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales declared a state of siege in five northeastern provinces this week (Alta Verapaz, El Progreso, Izabal, Peten and Zacapa) deploying more police and military forces in these areas.

Morales’ response also comes with a curfew, making it easier for Guatemalan forces to detain persons they find, however that measure will have to be approved by the country’s congress.

The Peten region of Guatemala runs along western Belize, which could pose a concern as there have been several incidents reported over the years where Guatemalan military forces accost Belizean security personnel when they meet in the field. The incident emphasizes that the transshipment of narcotics to the United States is a problem affecting governments all over the region.



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