Reports of levantones, or abductions, have been surfacing since Monday (4/29/2010) from various locations of this border city. According to witnesses most those abducted are members and associates of the Zeta cartel including business owners, drug dealers and even "halcones" or lookouts. None of the missing people have been located, whether dead or alive.
It is rumored that the cartel del golfo (CDG) have arrived in Piedras Negras and that "comandos" , paramilitary groups of gunmen, belonging to this cartel are responsible for the upsurge in violence.
Home invasions are ocurring during the night and in the morning these houses appear abandoned with open doors and lights on, the gates into the properties destroyed. No one enters these houses as the neighbors are too intimidated to investigate.
The local police are refusing to investigate any missing persons reports and only family members search for those abducted, in constant fear of reprisal. As of Thursday checkpoints had been setup on all roads leading into Piedras Negras in an attempt to halt the growing violence by gunmen from Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and southern Coahuila.
The news abstract above was translated from a credible Mexican blog site. "LAS NOTICIAS SOBRE NARCOTRAFICO EN MEXICO"
Verification was impossible from local news sources, in this case the "Zocalo de Piedras Negras ", as self censorship by the press is the practice of the day outside of the large main cities. Being a news reporter in Mexico covering organized crime can be lethal.
I'm posting this story because I was able to obtain a partial confirmation of the occcurences described above via e-mail from a local citizen of Piedras Negras.
"Estoy perfectamente bien, Gerardo. Mi familia esta tambien muy bien, los unicos que andan con miedo, son los narco Zetas, los comerciantes que hacen negocio con ellos y todo el que ande en ese mundo. Insisto, aunque no me creas, estan las cosas tranquilas aqui, no hay balaceras, no hay nada exhibido, solo se andan limpiando entre ellos.
No se hasta ahorita, a quien le han echado el guante, pero sabemos que es pura gente mala. Comentaban anoche que vieron varios convoys de 11 camionetas o mas , zurcando por la ciudad buscando a Zetas. Los zetas andan bien zurrados, ahorita. Creo que presienten que les llego su hora, los he visto muy nerviosos. Entraron a varias casas en sectores residenciales, todas las casa eran de cabecillas del narco.
Hasta ahorita, los levantados son gente incomoda, no sabemos de ningun inocente."
For you non-spanish speakers this person states that abductions of zetas are taking place with minimal shooting and that the Zetas in Piedras Negras are basically on the run. For any reader of this blog with family and friends in Piedras Negras I hope this post clarifies what is occuring.