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Central America: mexican cartel “Los Zetas” use “Mara Salvatrucha” gangsters as soldiers in drug war.

Containers with drugs in Honduras

The Chief of Joint Staff of the Armed Forces in Honduras, General Rene Osorio, said there is evidence that the Zetas and the Maras are collaborating in its criminal activities in Central America.  The Zetas-Maras linkage was discovered after the comparison of weapons confiscated to mexican drug smuglers in Honduras and those confiscated recently to the Maras, being exactly the same type and origin.

During the raid, the authorities captured Miguel Angel Ciles Banegas accused of organized crime , illegal storage of arms and drug trafficking. Another alleged criminals are Eduardo Elias Handal Saybe and  Guatemalan Juan Carlos Garcia Urbina.  According to the D.A. report, the latter two are the masterminds of the criminal organization in charge of the warehouse and of sending drugs to Guatemala and Mexico.

The criminal organization was run by Guatemalans and Hondurans, as regional prosecutors spokesman Elvis Guzman said to the press.

In the raid they found maps that according to investigations had traced routes from Guatemala to Colombia where the criminals trafficked cocaine. The map also identified the routes followed and where the aircraft landed and loaded with drugs.

In the warehouse they find containers with drugs.  The containers had false floors to transport drugs without raising suspicion. Inside the courtyard of the building were found seven containers with drugs.

Defence Minister, Marlon Pascua said yesterday that the grenades found in the warehouse and containers during the raid, belonged to the same weapon lot found at the jail Center Sampedrano in the hands of gangsters of the Mara 18. “This clearly indicates that these mexican and central american criminals were also associated with the Maras gangs in Honduras and other countries in the region.

These criminals (gang members) are looking for funds to finance their operations.  That is the reason behind the illegal “export2 of  these weapons that were destined to be sent to another country and be sold, “said Defense Minister Marlon Pascua.

“There are an alarming number of weapons circulating in Honduras” said the Minister.  He added that the salvadoran authorities must identify the use that the criminals  would give the weapons, whether it was for use within the country or countries of Central America.

“We can not say exactly where they were intended, that we’re investigating at this time. The fire power that has this array is very large, these wapons ares not used in Honduras by criminals. The confiscated weapons are more to be used by armies in conventional wars, “he said.

Inside the warehouse raided by agents of the honduran Anti-Drug Authority , they found also uniforms of the National Police of Honduras, bulletproof vests and four badges of Mexico’s Federal Police. “It’s amazing we do not know how they came up here with these mexican police badges. These people are very prepared and that’s something we’ve been pointing out, “said  Pascua.

Defence Minister said they are awaiting the order to destroy the arsenal. “We do not want these weapons within reach of criminals again,” he said.

The count made by those skilled in weapons states that were found eight boxes of M-16 rifles, 618 magazines for the same type of gun, 30 grenades, military, 25 RPG-tank and capable of shooting down a helicopter, an R-15 rifle , 17 AK-47 rifles, 23 AK-47 magazines, 13 grenades 13-63, R5 five grenades, four badges of the Police of Mexico, six bullet-proof vests, uniforms of  Special Operations Command Cobras, among other materials.

Defense Minister said that the country had not seen before such amount of illegal weapons. “We regret that what has happened in Colombia is also happening in Mexico and Guatemala. These countries are having problems and that indicates to us that these criminals are migrating south, including Honduras. We can not allow these criminals to reach the levels they have in other countries, “said the minister.

He said the criminal organization is made up of Hondurans, Guatemalans, Mexicans and Colombians.