The following are photos of the “scorched earth” policy followed by Los Zetas in northern Coahuila during the recent infighting as the organized crime structure in the plaza of Piedras Negras fractured with the rumored defection of a key Zeta operative in that area, Alfonso “Poncho” Cuellar, to the Gulf Cartel.
None of the families and individuals abducted by Los Zetas gunmen in the hunt for relatives and associates of Poncho Cuellar in late March have been released and all are now assumed to be dead and deposited in new “narcofosas”. Many of the survivors that avoided the Zeta dragnet reportedly fled to Eagle Pass and other cities in Texas.
(see Borderland Beat: http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2011/03/missing-in-piedras-negras.html )
Los Zetas in the Piedras Negras area are not only satisfied with cleansing the area of their enemies, real and perceived, but also in advertising their power to the communities by destroying and torching residences and businesses belonging to the victims of the purge.
It is incredible that these criminals can act with such violence without interference from municipal and state authorities, many of which are accused by local residents of being at the service of local organized crime groups. Federal troops and police quartered in Piedras Negras have not been a deterrent either.
These images show properties belonging to a family named Garza in Allende, Coahuila, a municipality of 20,000 inhabitants located 30 miles from Piedras Negras and the U.S.-Mexico border. The Garzas were reportedly associates of Poncho Cuellar.
In June of 2010, a Canadian mountain bike enthusiast, Kenneth Charles Peter Klowak, was murdered by gunmen in Allende during a robbery attempt.
Many other properties have also reportedly been destroyed in Piedras Negras during this current outbreak of violence.
Images by the citizens of Coahuila: