Linares, Nuevo Leon has literally become a battleground, because in the last few days the people have been on high alert to any situation that may occur at any moment, while in the mean time the authorities were indifferent of what was happening. But before they knew it, things would change and not a moment too soon.
Witnesses say that for the last five days SUVs with armed men arrived and were seen driving around the town, on one occasion people observed a convoy of 40 vehicles that were marked with the letter Z, so it is assumed that the armed men were members of Los Zetas. Some of the men set up camps in the outline area of the region.
On previous days people had reported several confrontations where there were many dead, scores, except the criminals take the bodies with them. In addition there were more attacks on police command centers and municipal buildings.
The citizens are starting to fear of what might happen in light of the narco banners that started to appear during the weekend signed by Los Zetas, where they warned that for every of their members killed they were going to kill four students. In other banners they named Francisco Medina, Mayor of Linares, who was asked to surrender to them, "we are looking for you, if you don't turn yourself in, the attacks will begin," read the message.
Some narco banners were posted in businesses and schools, which prompted parents to keep their children at home from school because of the risk and threats made by criminals. There literally an unofficial curfew as the streets are completely deserted as soon as the sun sets.
It was not until Wednesday morning when authorities and the local media began to admit the bad situation, but it actually took several chases and shootouts for them to take things seriously, and it was only then, that the Mexican military and federal police started to arrive in the town.
There were clashes between rival groups that a resulted in 9 gunmen killed, however the government only officially confirmed two dead. The Zetas also abducted six transit police officers. The mayor failed to report the situation in time to get help, is how it was confirmed by Jorge Domene Zambrano, Federal Safety spokesman for Nuevo León.
The few businesses that had still remained open, finally closed, all people needed to stay indoors as it was still a high risk to be outside and it was necessary in order to protect innocent citizens that might be affected by the violence.
At noon the military had also encounters with gunmen, but it is not known if there were any dead or criminals arrested in those actions.
Domene Zambrano announced the names of the police officers that were abducted during the morning, "the official report as of this moment is that the operations by authorities continue, two criminals were officially reported killed and yes, it is true that six transit police officers were abducted from units 136 and 126, the names are Antonio Barajas Castillo, José Antonio Correo García, Sergio Francisco Muñoz, Inocencio Lerma Perales, José Guadalupe Guerrero Sustaita and Juan Carlos Garza, all officers assigned to the department of traffic in the municipality of Linares."
He also indicated that he will implement new ways of how police operate in order to prevent attacks and kidnappings, "Well it all comes down to the fundamental and radical way we shape our new police agencies, from there arises the new police system on how units are being formed that we have discussed on several occasion, we must have a new way to operate, that is to say, no longer will they be in pairs as sometimes happens, or even as individuals, but we must operate in the style of the Federal Police, or the same as the Army and Marines, which is what they call the 'nectar' where they operate in groups of up to 30 officers, these units are formed this way and continue in this mode of operation. We will assign the protocols and place a procedure on how to operate, to prevent such incidents that have been occurring lately."