Ads seek ex-soldiers for smuggling jobs

Guatemala is investigating radio advertisements seeking elite ex-soldiers, who have been known to work for drug cartels, to smuggle goods into Mexico, officials said on Thursday.

The ads were broadcast in the lawless northern jungle region of Peten, home to a tough military training centre for Kaibil soldiers, infamous during Guatemala’s civil war as a brutal guerilla-fighting, special forces unit.

“We invite all citizens who have served in the military and graduated as Kaibils to work securing vehicles transporting merchandise to Mexico,” the radio spot said, according to a local newspaper. The ad gave a telephone contact number.

Former Kaibil soldiers have been lured to work as assassins and run security for powerful drug lords by cash payments that can be as much as 10 times the average army salary, according to a Kaibil commander interviewed by Reuters.

Spokespersons for the Interior Ministry and the army said authorities still were investigating the origin of the radio ads, which may have been transmitted on pirated airwaves. - Reuters

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