Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Nearly a month after exodus, Mier refugee shelter closes

Monday, December 6, 2010 |

By JARED TAYLOR, The Monitor


Officials have closed a refugee shelter set up in Miguel Alemán, Tamps., as displaced residents of nearby Ciudad Mier made their way back to their homes amid a protective surge of military force.

Mier, once a town of about 6,500 across the border from western Starr County, gained infamy last month when several hundred residents vacated, seeking shelter at the Lions Club in Miguel Alemán.

The exodus came after members of the Zetas, the Gulf Cartel’s allies-turned-rival, reportedly ordered residents out of Mier under the threat of execution.

“It was a very difficult situation,” Mayor Servando Lopez Moreno of Miguel Alemán said in a telephone interview.

The shelter closed Friday after remaining open for nearly a month, Lopez said.

The mass departure gave Ciudad Mier— designated a “Pueblo Mágico” by Mexico’s Tourism Ministry for its significant historical and cultural value — international notoriety as an overnight ghost town. But residents from Mier have said most of the townsfolk able to cross into the U.S. did so months ago, while others with relatives in other cities had already fled as well.

Mexico defense officials deployed 3,000 soldiers, marines and federal police to Mier and other northern Tamaulipas border towns west of Reynosa.

“There’s a lot of security now,” Lopez said.

He said a meeting with local, state and federal officials is set for this week regarding security in Mexico border towns.

“There are many soldiers here now, but we don’t know if it is permanent or transient,” the mayor said. “We know they are here, but we don’t know if they will stay.”

No one at Mier’s City Hall answered telephone calls Friday.

Refugees who spent nearly a month in Miguel Alemán received an outpouring of support from residents in Starr County, as well as from churches from across the Rio Grande Valley.

At least seven Valley Baptist churches — and others in Texas — pooled resources to collect items taken across to the Lions Club shelter.

The provisions included food, blankets, drinking water and diapers, said Jerry Johnson, interim director of the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association. He noted that the relief effort was headed by Tomas Cantu, pastor at Primera Iglesia Bautista in Roma. Cantu declined to comment for this story.

“He has really brought it to our attention to the needs out there,” Johnson said. “Whatever is out there, we try to meet the needs of folks.”

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5 Borderland Beat Comments:

Ovemex said...

They closed it just in time for the governor of Tamps and the Secretary of Interior Francisco Blake to visit today, Monday Dec,6...

Sadly I wonder how long Mier's "new found military enforced tranquility" will last after the world news teams and cameras leave today.

Buela said...

Rise

This is just all too fishy. I know first hand what was going on in that shelter, this is all PR...do not feed into it. all for appearance.

Trust me I know

I agree with Ovemex..see how loing they stay.

just another rape of the people of Mier

I want to know since they closed the shelter...what did they do with the 15 tons of relief sent to the shelter by the red cross week before last?

RiseMakaveli said...

Oh I posted the story to update you guys, doesn't mean I trust what's published.

Mier was held hostage along with camargo for I dont know how long and the military knowing what was happening never send troops.. Why?

It's pretty stupid to believe that, the military was already in Miguel Aleman, but yet they had no idea that Mier was being destroyed.

Anonymous said...

Take some ideas from the old wild west movies. How did they protect the town...?

This is where the military needs to round up three to five hundred townspeople from volunteers, arm and train them while they're there. Tech them how to protect themselves.

The Zetas or any other outlaws will think twice about entering someone's house or business if they know they could likely have a gun. Remember, many of these young sicarios are cowards. They target unarmed civilians and other cartel gangs. They often arrive in caravans of SUV's to hit an intended target which means they become highly visible to watchful eyes.

The concept of "Neighborhood Watch" on a grande scale. Gotta start thinking of reasonable solutions. How can people be trained to protect themselves and their families.

Police/military should be doing investigative work to search out these criminals and courts must do their part to bring them to justice. Then you'll start to see a change in the tide.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. There is a lot of game playing going around.

RiseMakaveli said... 'Mier was held hostage along with camargo for I dont know how long and the military knowing what was happening never send troops.. Why? It's pretty stupid to believe that, the military was already in Miguel Aleman, but yet they had no idea that Mier was being destroyed.'

Ernest1

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