Guatemalan State of Siege

Guatemala is on the offensive against drug cartels who have thrived in the nations communities.

The Guatemalan military has declared a state of siege in a province that they claim is controlled by Mexican drug traffickers.

Ronaldo Robles is a spokesman for the office of President Alvaro Colom. He says that the government has declared the monthlong measure in the Alta Verapaz province to reclaim cities that have allegedly been taken over by the Zetas drug gang.

The order went into effect Sunday. It allows the army to detain suspects without warrants, conduct warrantless searches, prohibit gun possession, and control the local news media.

In the city of Coban, national police and soldiers are searching homes and inspecting all cars as they enter and leave the provincial capital.

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Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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