Drug cartels and other criminal organizations have infiltrated the Guatemalan justice system, Attorney General Claudia Paz said in comments published Wednesday by capital daily Siglo 21.

Assistant prosecutors have been discovered colluding with Mexico's brutal Los Zetas cartel and other drug outfits, she said.

Other judiciary employees were caught providing information to criminals, Guatemala's top law enforcement official said.

"The organized-crime structures have the capacity to threaten or corrupt because they have a lot of money," she said.

Her office has removed 40 people, including prosecutors, from their positions in the course of 2012 for "irregular acts," Paz said.

Nearly 850 formal criminal complaints have been filed this year over alleged wrongdoing by judiciary employees, leading to the opening of 165 investigations, the attorney general said.

Some local and prosecutor's offices were found to be falsifying data to overstate the number of prosecutions initiated, Paz told the newspaper.

More than 100 Zetas have been captured in Guatemala since 2008, when the cartel moved into the Central American country.

The Zetas, founded by deserters from a U.S.-trained Mexican special forces unit, are blamed for several mass killings in Guatemala. EFE