President Mauricio Funes last week expressed concerns that that the Zetas, a drug trafficking cartel from Mexico, has entered El Salvador and may be forming an alliance with a Salvadoran gang such as Mara Salvachrucha (MS) or another drug trafficking organization.
Speaking to members of the press, Funes said that “they have information that [the Zetas] have entered El Salvador with the goal of exploring opportunities.” He continued that “neither he nor the director of the OEA, Minister of Seguridad, nor the Director of the Police are sure that they are operating in El Salvador, only that they have entered El Salvador and are exploring some contacts.”
El Universal.mx reports that since October 2009 members of MS were working with Zeta to traffic drugs through Central America. Since last year, rates of violence crime in countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Equador, which are all important points on the route to bring cocaine from South America to markets in the United States, have increased.
Leo Navarette, the FBI representative in El Salvador, believes that the expansion to El Salvador and Central America is the result of the pressure the Mexican authorities are applying on the drug trafficking cartels. “Its like a balloon, if they put pressure on one side, the air will move to the otherside.”