The news from Guatemala, especially from Alta Verapaz, is something to dread in this year of election, especially with the notion that this will impact on the popular vote come November. The situation provides the ideal opportunity for someone to present themselves as the ‘hard man’ of Guatemalan politics in becoming the answer to the threat of violence unleashed by the incursion of the Zetas and the response of the Guatemalan state. Many commentators have described these events as a widening of the Drug Wars that were initiated in 2006 by the Mexican government of Felipe Calderón, and supported by, if not at the behest of, the United States. This is a war that has claimed more than 30,000 lives in Mexico and its measure of success seems to be on the number, still very few, of gang leaders either caught or killed. The number of dead seems to be unaffected by these ‘successes’. These, though, do seem to get the media into a bit of a lather. The beheadings, rapes, and other forms of violence dominate the news pages for the briefest of times before disappearing to await the next worthy capture or bout of monstrous brutality. Now the news is that Guatemala, that failed State to the south, has been invaded and taken over by the drug gangs. At least, that’s the story.