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Carlos Morales sits under a picture of Che Guevara in Santa Cruz, Alta Verapaz. Morales heads the Union of Peasant Organizations. He believes the state of siege is a pretext for suppressing agrarian reform in a region with a history of land disputes.
Juan Alberto Ortiz, alleged head of one of the leading drug cartels in Guatemala City is arrested after U.S. DEA operation in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. (Presidencia de la Republica, Guatemala)
Do people fear a brutal drug cartel or its own military?
For two months this year, the army laid siege to the province where the cartel — founded by former Mexican Army special forces soldiers who deserted — has been muscling in on trafficking routes, once controlled by Guatemalan cartels.
The offensive’s now been called down, but the military presence remains — and so do questions about its effectiveness.