Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

The Battle for Ciudad Mier (Chapters 1, 2, 3)

Saturday, April 23, 2011 |

This is the story of a village on the border with the United States swept in silence because of a war in Tamaulipas.

By: Diego Enrique Osorno
Gatopardo


Chapters 1:
On the morning of February 22, 2010, when Ciudad Mier was preparing for their annual festival, fifteen SUV's with the initials of the Gulf cartel (CDG) entered the city from the access road to Reynosa like some wild horses. The gunmen headed directly to the headquarters of the Municipal Police, got out of their vehicles and suddenly, the loud sound from the rattle of machine guns was heard hitting the old building. People all around hit ground and took refuge as best as they could.

After a few minutes the sound of gunfire subsided. Six scared municipal police officers were beaten and while gasping with their mouth open, cover in blood and with fear in their eyes, they were taken out of the police headquarters by the gunmen, who shouted insults against Los Zetas. That was the last time the six police officers were seen and it was also the last time there were municipal police officers in Ciudad Mier.

The criminal group set up gunmen in the three main entrances to the heart of Ciudad Mier and thus set up a wall so that four SUV's full of gunmen could safely travel the streets to search inside the homes and businesses in order to locate specific people. During that time at the main plaza across from the police headquarters, the wall was used to execute people. Bleeding to death, two men that had been found by the gunmen were taken to the plaza. There they were shot and then beheaded. Their heads ended up being placed in a corner of the plaza for everyone to see. Over time, because of the frequent executions on that corner, a name was given to it, that corner became known as "The Corner of the Decapitated."

A couple of hours after the gunmen left the village, the Army made a quick appearance and left before dark. All of following weeks the people of Cd Mier lived in a state of somnolence. The silence of the night was cut by distant voices and isolated shots. The streets were dirty and dilapidated, there was simply no way the people would celebrate their annual fiesta of March 6, which was cancelled that year in 2010, something that has not happened since the time of the Revolution.

Chapter 2:
Although you don't see anyone, you know there is someone watching you. You feel it as you walk to try not to step on the small metal casings that have been spit by the mouths of the rifles, which are mixed and sctattered next to the broken glass, it is better to practice caution, it is inevitable that they will make a squeaky sound with the bottom of your boots.

You must hurry and finish looking at the thick dried pools of bood and thousands of bullet holes remaining in the walls of houses. You can not let nightfall find you as you seek to recover more testimony of what happened these last few months here. The darkness of a war zone is not the same as the darkness from a dry well, in fact, there are no hotels or places to which you can get to spend the night.

For now, this is not the magical village "Pueblo Mágico" that that is advertised at the entrance to the town: Judging by the visible signs of destruction, is the first line of the war in Tamaulipas.

It is assumed that the warring factions retreated a few weeks ago to set up camps in nearby ranches, and you, although you don't come embedded with an Army unit, who carry helmets and a flak jackets that are both hot and heavy, you can walk these streets where buildings are covered with ash, charred debris on the ground and no apparent sign of life inside. But you know you're in a ghost town and it is possible that the ghosts are watching.

Chapter 3
Of what happened to Ciudad Mier was not an outburst of irrational violence. The raid on February 22, 2010 was part of a more ambitious plan to take control of the important median strip between Tamaulipas and Texas, known on the Mexican side as the "Frontera Chica." This is a key area for trafficking any type of illegal contraband to the U.S., and here you also find Cuenca de Burgos, the largest natural gas field in the whole Mexico.

The headquarters of towns like Miguel Alemán, Camargo, Valle Hermoso and Nueva Ciudad Guerrero were also attacked in the same way it happened to Ciudad Mier. The beginning of this offensive that the government failed to recognize has several names: those who initiated it, the members of the Gulf Cartel or C.D.G. - claimed that their surprise attack was "La Vuelta" or "The Return," while the target of their offensive, Los Zetas, placed a mark of that date on the calendar with the title of "La Traición" or "The Betrayal." While the people simply called it "El Alzamiento" or "The Rising."

The attacks coincided with the release in Mexico of some words of repentance from Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who led both groups before being extradited to the United States, where in exchange for a reduced sentence of 25 years of imprisonment to a medium-security prison, he provided key information against the Zetas, a group that he founded a decade ago.

When war broke out in Tamaulipas, a state whose size is four times bigger than that of El Salvador, and whose costs comprises much of the Gulf of Mexico, there was no particular reference or positioning from the state or the federal police to give an account of what was happening.

Before the questions posed by journalists on the reports of shootings and clashes in the region, the then Governor Eugenio Hernandez said it was pure psychosis. In the public log of activities from the Commander of the Eighth Army Military Zone he only references three clashes, in which a soldier was killed and eleven others were wounded.

Finally, based on a report from the DEA, it was reported that the federal government officials managed to infiltrate columnist in Mexico City that had knowledge of an alliance between the Gulf cartel, the Sinaloa Federation and La Familia Michoacana, under a slogan - that said - it benefits all: "México unido contra los Zetas" or "Mexico united against Los Zetas."



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9 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you BB but I don't want to see any fucking music videos. Least of all narco corrido videos by komander

Anonymous said...

These songs are the inspiration for people to join sinaloa.hahaha all of these people are real sicarios of sinaloa.El RM is el chapos right hand man hahaha

Anonymous said...

CDG killing city police who were Zeta comitted then killing the hit list of Zeta people,the Army staying away to let the CDG do its house cleaning,sounds as though being involved in drug smuggling in Mexico is dangerous these deaths may be a positive thing,in the long run.Sorry I have no feelings for Z or CDG or any of the thousands of support people who participate in THE BUISNESS

Anonymous said...

O the glamor of it sex money, BS Ignorant fat assed low class,crude music,crude basic half human,opportunist. In a NORMAL functioning SOCIETY trash like this is highly discriminated against,Mexico is so disfunctional that this freak show is almost normal.

Anonymous said...

this war is rediculous,really is someone ever going to win, cdg should send reinforcemnts to take over mier and keep pushing into nuevo laredo/leon.i wanna see a deep convoy of 50 or 100 gunmen try and take zeta plazas or have a balacera.

Anonymous said...

I don't speak Spanish, but often travel to Mexico. I like this kind of music because I don't know what they are saying. It always sounds happy, festive and reminds me of sitting in a Cantina with a little too much to drink and flirting with some cute senorita waitress....Silly me

Anonymous said...

It will get worse, Z are getting hit from all sides, as soon as they get weak enough to not
have the resources to travel in Convoys they will just get popped like rabbits and hunted down.

Anonymous said...

LASTIMA DE PELAOS!

Anonymous said...

Los Zetas the deadly paramilitary terrorist hit men and enforcers for the Mexican Drug Cartels (MDCs) is now operating and extorting American businesses on the U.S. Side of the border. Federal law enforcement investigators believe that goons of the MDCs has apparently begun to threaten businesses in the United States.

Federal government officials on both sides of the border are reported to be investigating the mafia style extortion plots. Two American city police departments L.A. and El Paso are investigating. Other cities police departments with similar problems believed looking into the matter is Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, and other smaller towns bordering Mexico.

According to information from an El Paso newspaper word of the threats has put the El Paso police on alert. At least two businesses in El Paso have reportedly received threats by a man identifying himself as a commander of Los Zetas. One businessman said that the man “demanded in an intimidating voice” a payment of $50,000 to be paid immediately or “the next time we meet will be at the funeral of a loved one.” While such tactics are routine in neighboring Cd. Juarez, but never before have American businesses been extorted from thugs from a foreign country and is a new problem for American businesses to have to deal with and apparently extortion has crossed into the US.

U.S. businesses are receiving threats by extortionists claiming to be members of MDCs, a sign that criminal tactics common in Mexico are showing up north of the border.

This week alone, at least two El Paso businesses reported to police calls they had received from a man identifying himself as a Zetas commander working for the Gulf cartel.

One man, in a "bullying voice," called an El Paso businessman and demanded "$50,000 immediately, or the next time we'll see you, it will be at the funeral of a loved one," the businessman said.

The businessman spoke on condition of anonymity, citing concerns for his safety and that of his family. The family said it reported the incident to police.

El Paso police spokesman Javier Sambrano said he believes the incident is a "scam”, but an investigator had been assigned to the case, and he acknowledged that other businesses had been threatened in the past few days, but he refused to say how many.

Last year the El Paso Police Dept. did not think that the killings in Juarez would spill over into El Paso. They have been proved wrong as assassinations by MDCs of American citizens have taken place in El Paso and other cities around the country. Its believed many other Americans have been kidnapped and forced to Mexico where they were tortured and killed by MDCs murderous gang members and hired hit men. U.S. law enforcement believe American gang members also participate in many of those kidnappings and murders and follow the orders of the MDCs.

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