Guatemala Extends State of Siege in Gang-Infested Border Province

A day after Mexican federal authorities arrested one of the founders of the brutal Zetas drug gang, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom announced that he is extending a state siege on a border province controlled by that gang.

Colom says the month-long state of siege that began on Dec. 19 when hundreds of police and soldiers were sent to Alta Verapaz province has been successful, but that he'll extend it an extra month "because more needs to be done."

The measure lets the army detain suspects without warrants, conduct warrantless searches, prohibit gun possession and public gatherings, and control the local news media.

The Zetas began controlling cocaine traffic in the area in 2008 after killing Guatemalan drug boss Juan Jose "Juancho" Leon.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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