Mexico: War Zone Nuevo Laredo


August 5, 2010: The government accused the drug cartels of seeking to become a law unto themselves. Officials believe that the cartels are no longer just dealing in drugs, but are trying to dominate everyone else. To the government, the cartels appear intent on replacing the Mexican government by “outgunning” Mexican security forces.

August 3, 2010: A bridge connecting Ciudad Juarez to El Paso, Texas was closed for two hours after security personnel discovered a bomb on the Mexican side of the structure. The bomb was detonated by authorities.

July 31, 2010: The US intends to complete deployment of an additional 1200 National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border by mid-August. Five hundred troops will deploy in Arizona. The rest will deploy in California, Texas, and New Mexico. The US government promised to send the additional forces in May. The Guardsmen will support police officers and Border Patrol agents.

July 30, 2010: The government said a new drug cartel may be active in Guerrero state. Several murders in Guerrero have been attributed to an organization which calls itself  The New Cartel of the Sierra (ie, the mountains). Some security officials acknowledge it could be a false claim, but the Beltran Leyva cartel has split into several factions since its senior commander, Arturo Beltran Leyva, was killed by naval commandos in 2009.

July 29, 2010: Soldiers reportedly killed a senior leader in the Sinaloa cartel, Ignacio Coronel. He was reportedly slain in a raid in the city of Guadalajara, (western Mexico). Coronel was nicknamed The King of Crystal (crystal methamphetamine).

July 27, 2010: Security officials in Puebla state (central Mexico) reported three federal policemen were murdered by gunmen when they tried to stop a vehicle in order to search it.

July 25, 2010: Government officials in Nuevo Leon state (northern Mexico) reported police had found 51 bodies buried in nine mass graves. Authorities are trying to identify the victims. Several of the bodies had been burned.

July 20, 2010: Grenades forever. Mexican and US analysts report that Mexico suffered over 70 grenade attacks during 2009. Interestingly enough, grenades are also the thugs' weapon of choice in the central African countru of Burundi, where thugs hurl the hand grenades at crowds. In Mexico police stations and convoys are favorite targets.

July 19, 2010: Results from Mexico's recent state government elections surprised a lot of people, especially Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) leaders who thought their party was on track to retake control of Mexico. Fourteen of Mexico’s 31 states voted. The PRI won 12 governorships but it was supposed to win 14. The PRI lost three states it had governed for the last 81 years (Oaxaca, Puebla, and Sinaloa). The PRI is considered to be the most corrupt of Mexico's three largest parties.

July 18, 2010: Gunman in the town Torreon (Coahuila state) attacked a birthday party and murdered 17 people.

It is believed that the Ejercito Popular Revolucionario (EPR, Popular Revolutionary Army) is getting money from Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. This looks like the recycling of an old story, but that does not mean it isn't worth considering. Colombia accuses Chavez of supporting Marxist narco-guerrilla organizations like the FARC.

July 16, 2010: A wild day in Nuevo Laredo (Tamaluipas state, across the border from Laredo, Texas). Twelve people died in three gun battles between soldiers and cartel gunmen. Nine of the dead were identified as cartel members, while one soldier was killed. The other two dead were civilians (presumably caught in the crossfire), and another 21 were wounded. This is worse than Chicago under 1920s gang lord Capone. Call it War Zone Nuevo Laredo.

July 15, 2010: A recent car bomb attack in Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua state, across the border from El Paso) was detonated by a signal from a mobile phone. This car bomb was believed to be the work of drug cartels. It was very similar to car bomb attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Four people were killed in the car bomb attack. The car contained ten kilos (22 pounds) of C-4 plastic explosive.

July 4, 2010: In 2009 Nogales (Sonora state, across the border from Nogales, Arizona) had 135 murders. According to statistics from Mexican media, from January through early July 2010, it had 131. Most are drug gang related killings. Cartels are fighting over control of a drug corridor (shipment route from Mexico to the US) running through the area.




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