Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Thousands of Ranches Abandoned in Tamauliaps Due to Violence

Saturday, November 27, 2010 |


Thousands of ranches have been abandoned in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas by owners who do not want to end up like Alejo Garza, a rancher who died defending his property from a drug cartel.

Garza, considered by a hero by many in the region, refused to hand over his property to a drug cartel, which gave him 24 hours to leave his property.

The 77-year-old rancher barricaded himself inside his house and took on 30 cartel gunmen, killing four of them and seriously wounding two others before being slain.

The drug cartels, which have been engaged in a turf war since the beginning of this year, take over ranches and use them as bases, a Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office source told Efe on condition of anonymity.

“They use them as recruitment centers or as hiding places to avoid being spotted when federal forces do aerial reconnaissance,” the AG’s office source said.

A ranch in the border city of Mier, for example, was the scene of a clash in which federal forces killed about 20 gunmen, the official said.

Cartel gunmen, moreover, massacred 72 Cetral American migrants over the summer at a ranch near the city of San Fernando, the official said.

Many ranchers have decided to abandon their properties or switch occupations to avoid becoming victims of the cartels, the Tamaulipas Regional Ranchers Association, or URGT, said.

“It’s a scourge that is hurting everyone. The ranchers have stopped going to the ranches and are working at something else, so the industry has been falling. They are abandoning the ranches,” URGT president Alejandro Gil said.

About 5,000 properties may have been abandoned in the state, Gil said.

The industry has been losing money and exports of young bulls to the United States have fallen considerably, Gil said.

Some 200,000 head of cattle were exported in 2009, but exports will only reach about one-third of that level this year, the URGT leader said.

“A young bull costs 5,000 pesos (about $400) over there, and if you stop exporting so many thousands of head of cattle, the losses are big,” Gil said.

The Gulf cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organizations, and its former armed wing, Los Zetas, have been fighting for control of smuggling routes in Tamaulipas since the beginning of the year, leaving hundreds of people dead in the border state.

One of the most heinous incidents was the killing of Garza, a lumberman whose death has been chronicled on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

The ranch of Don Alejo after the fierce battle, between one man and a heavily armed commando of sicarios.

Share it:

9 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a sad, sad situation. 4 months ago, we turned over our own beloved ranch to these culeros. And while Don Alejo is a hero to many, there are many others who have small children and families to protect.

Unless you really have a death wish, there is nothing to be done against an armed force of 20+ men. To follow Don Alejo's example is to surely die.

And the police and military are part of the problem. No agency can be trusted so it goes unreported.

This is just another stain in the battle to save Mexico. It is only getting worse.

Anonymous said...

This would not happen in America. Try that with them and you will get lead posioning. They will shoot every bullet they have at you.
Defeat for sure for those pig cartel criminals bred from whores.

Anonymous said...

Sad you lost your land.

This may be cruel, but
The American Revolution was won by fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters.
Don Alejo had family.
Think about being an example for your families. Don Alejo was a martyr. There will be more martyrs.
His courage is a beacon for all.

But, Mexico must win Mexico back.

Anonymous said...

Fight...fight with honor and pride! There will be martyrs in this war (and it is a war). A war of right and wrong. They (cartels) are empowered because the people have not taken back they're country from the corruption and graft filled government that runs it. I see a true revolution happening... Enough is enough!!

...Only by standing up to this savages will anything happen

Anonymous said...

I fear for the life of two male relatives in Tamaulipas who ranch in Zeta occupied territory as the Mexican military has surrendered and merely turned over the general area where they live to the two cartels that rule there.

The US policies forced on Mexico have screwed up the region royal!

Ernest1

Anonymous said...

If you fear for the life of your 2 relatives grow some balls and go down there and do something about it and quit whinning about the U.S. Policies and how they caused all of this.... Be a Big man and Do something son....VIVA DON ALEJO GARZA!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid your going to see alot more Alejo Garza's before long! In the states they say "If you Outlaw Guns Only Outlaws will have Guns"!
Well my friends here is a perfect example. It's
about time the average mexican citizen starts blowin some brains out of these savages before
the whole country is beyond hope. We all know
that if the U.S. get's involved it will be just
like the Mexican Revolution all over again with
a modern day "General Pershing" using the excuse
better down there than up here!! and who can say; It might be exactly what Mexico needs!

Anonymous said...

Oh right! I am supposed to go into a small town of several thousand and then start given marching orders in the Resistance to the violence going on there, even though the real animus for much of it comes from D.C. and not D.F.

'If you fear for the life of your 2 relatives grow some balls and go down there and do something about it and quit whinning about the U.S. Policies and how they caused all of this.... Be a Big man and Do something son....VIVA DON ALEJO GARZA!!!'

You are totally clueless with your silly USA machoism, Anonymous. Why don't you Right Wingers ever take any responsibility when your own government screws over other countries? Instead, you are always pretending that the US government is supposedly uninvolved! ... a totally witless proposition.

Ernest1

Anonymous said...

you are a fucking idiot, YOU speaking of USA machoism, why don't you elaborate on how your countrie's problems are the fault of the US..if you can't (which you can't) I'll let you in on a little secret. Fix your own problems! When in our life time or your forefathers has Mexico helped the US with anything, and how many times has Mexico cried for help, and recieved it, from the US?

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;

borderlandbeat@gmail.com