Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

"My God"

Sunday, June 12, 2011 |

Reflections from a resident of Piedras Negras

154 assault weapons, hunting rifles and shotguns, 7 handguns, 1 RPG launcher, 62,000 rounds of ammunition seized June 1st in Nadadores, Coahuila.

My God! And look at how many people still protect the criminals!

Look at these weapons, just imagine who these weapons are used against.

And think of the many more weapons hidden out there in so many places around Coahuila and Mexico.

I'm still on the side of the law, our institutions, our military and our President. We must support them as true Mexican citizens or we will end up losing our Mexico.

Many hypocritical politicians fight for the sovereignty of Mexico, but they are not interested in anything but their own benefit. They want to spoonfeed their poison to the people and deceive them with their little social programs, tiny gardens and second rate bridges.

These politicians are always against the Federal Government, who they blame for all our security problems. But they turn a blind eye with these weapons, because they are involved right in the middle of all this shit.

And they walk around quietly, quietly…..HYPOCRITES.



On June 6th, in the municipality of San Buenaventura, Coahuila, Mexican Marines unearthed 80 assault weapons and hunting rifles, 20 handguns, 3 grenade launchers and 50,150 rounds of ammunition. Also seized were 3 kilograms of "EXPLUS Emulgel" plastic explosive that has been used in terrorist attacks by groups such as ETA, FARC, Sendero Luminoso and Al Qaeda, and 8 stolen vehicles.

Two days later Marines detained 20 municipal policemen from San Buenaventura including the municipal director of public safety,Jorge Alberto Garza Cabrera, for investigation of possible links to Los Zetas.

In all, 50 of the 64 municipal police are suspected of having links to organized crime. By Friday most of these police officers had quit the force.



On June 8th in Villa Union, Coahuila, Marines uncovered what appeared to be the largest Zeta training and supply camp to date with the seizure of 204 mostly AK-47, AR-15 and .308 cal assault weapons in excellent condition, 2 RPG launchers, 11 handguns and 29,621 rounds of ammunition.

Marine officials estimated that up to 100 zetas had been training at the site based on the immense quantity of spent cartridges littering the area.

Of particular concern was the high number of ballistic vests and camouflage uniforms with the "Marina" (marine) logo and patches.

Several incidents of assaults and robberies at checkpoints by men dressed as Marines have been reported in areas of Coahuila where Marines are not deployed. These reports led to intelligence that resulted in the operation in Villa Union.




In all more than 600 camouflage and black uniforms and pairs of military boots were seized at the site.

Naval sources revealed that the camouflage uniforms are original United States Army issue and the "Marina" logos were added with letters and colors similar to those used by Mexican Marines. The sources questioned the lack of U.S. control over government issue uniforms which end up in the hands of organized crime in Mexico.

Also on June 8th, an Army unit reported the capture of 16 assault weapons (12 AK-47's and 4 AR-15's) in the municipality of Zaragoza. The arms were found inside a shallow mine shaft on a property named "3 Hermanos".


The northern border state of Coahuila continues to be the focus of military operations that have led to the discovery and seizures of significant weapons arsenals, including 454 assault weapons and rifles  and substantial quantities of drugs belonging to the Los Zetas criminal organization.

Los Zetas consolidated their hold on the state during the PRI administration of Humberto Moreira who was elected Governor in 2005 and served until January 2011 when he resigned his post to assume the position of national president of the PRI party, a key position for a person willing to secure electoral success by any means necessary in the 2011 Gubernatorial elections (Estado de Mexico and Coahuila) and the presidential election in 2012.

While Moreira was in the Governor’s office Coahuila seemed to be an island of relative calm surrounded by the violence torn states of Durango, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. The only serious danger to Zeta operatives from the government were occasional federal operations in the capitol city of Saltillo, long considered a refuge and residence for that criminal organization.

Except for Torreon in southern Coahuila, where an increasingly violent and largely unreported war of attrition between “los Chapos” (loyal to the Sinaloa cartel) and Los Zetas has gripped the city, the violence against society by the Zetas was still present but seemed to be managed on a more selective level. During Moreira’s term Coahuila led Mexico in the number of reported “disappearances” of civilians with no links to organized crime.

Since Moreira left the state in early 2011 and left behind a weak interim Governor, Coahuila has seen a gradual descent into the widespread violence and insecurity that have swept large areas of the surrounding states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango and Chihuahua.

It is within the context of this plunge into lawlessness that in the spring of 2011 large contingents of Federal Police, the Army and Marines were deployed to reinforce sparse Army units in Coahuila in an attempt to stop the deteriorating situation and take back the “public spaces” from organized crime and to provide a safe environment for the gubernatorial elections scheduled for July of this year.

Some residents have also echoed that a primary self serving reason for this deployment is to help the fortunes of the candidate of Calderon’s PAN party, Senator Guillermo Anaya, who is still perceived to be far behind the PRI candidate, and Humberto Moreira’s brother and federal deputy, Ruben Moreira

Sources from northern Coahuila have related how the presence of the military has largely driven Los Zetas underground in that region of the state. Residents of the smaller cities and towns that were under the de facto control of organized crime report a return to a more normal way of life. The fear of random, deadly violence at the hands of gunmen has diminished, although the violence has not been entirely eliminated.

One gentleman from Zaragoza spoke of how the population endured a prolonged period of night time curfews, in some cases self imposed and in other cases imposed by Zetas. He spoke of feeling like he had crawled out of hiding from under a rock, again being able to enjoy simple pleasures like strolling among his neighbors, walking the plaza safely in the evening, partaking in night-time family backyard “carne asadas” (barbecues) and visiting neighboring communities.

Another gentleman from Piedras Negras explained that the return to near normalcy in his city was due to the location of semi permanent military checkpoints on all roads that connect municipalities to each other, greatly limiting the freedom of movement of gunmen.

A resident of Allende spoke of Zeta recruits brought in from San Luis Potosi, driving around in large caravans and acting like an occupation army with the residents of the municipality. He explained that they were responsible for much of the violence and disappearances there and felt that the situation was so desperate the only hope for salvation was for the Sinaloa cartel to invade and cleanse Allende of Zetas. This was before the Federal units arrived in force.

The greatest fear of these individuals is that the military presence will disappear after the July elections and the violence and impunity of Los Zetas will return with a vengeance. They cannot help but feel they may yet become another Tamaulipas, especially if the Gulf cartel or people from the Gente Nueva arrive to fight for the drug trafficking routes into Texas, or simply to kill Zetas.

They are people who feel they do not control their fate.

It is within this scenario that military operations continue to yield positive results, especially with the removal of the large number of armaments from Zeta hands. Although one must assume that a majority of weapons are still hidden away, these seizures are an important step in a prolonged process of imposing the rule of law and reducing the impunity with which criminals operate, especially if these successes continue.


Sources:
http://www.vanguardia.com.mx/truenanapoliciadesanbuenaventuracoahuila-741986.html
http://www.semar.gob.mx/sitio_2/index.php/sala-de-prensa/comunicados-de-prensa-2011/1628-comunicado-de-prensa-187-2011.html
http://www.semar.gob.mx/sitio_2/index.php/sala-de-prensa/comunicados-de-prensa-2011/1631-comunicado-de-prensa-190-2011.html
http://www.zocalo.com.mx/seccion/articulo/incautan-en-saltillo-otro-arsenal
http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2011/06/10/politica/013n1pol
http://www.vanguardia.com.mx/incautaejercitoarsenalesenvillaunionyzaragozacoahuila-741985.html

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22 Borderland Beat Comments:

'lito'brito said...

looks like they are getting ready for all out war

Anonymous said...

Wonder how much of that is from the U.S. arenal?
who moved it south? what Sargeant, Captain, Corporal or even General is involved in this?

alejandro said...

México necesita PAZ

'lito'brito said...

@anon June 12, 2011 8:33 AM

thats a good question..wonder which DTO backed general is planning a coup to" restore order" to Mexico ...after all this is Mexico ..divided and in turmoil... fat with cash...ripe

TheBronze said...

Anonymous said...
Wonder how much of that is from the U.S. arenal?
who moved it south? what Sargeant, Captain, Corporal or even General is involved in this?
June 12, 2011 8:33 AM


I think you meant to ask "How much of this came from the Mexican Army arsenal? How much of this came north, from Central/South America?"

Anonymous said...

No, i meant from the U.S. Arsenal.
dont put words in my mouth Ass Hole.
Those uniforms are U.S. Issue.
and being so close to the Border of the United States, dont insult my intelligence by saying they came from thousands of miles to the south.

Anonymous said...

ANONYMOUS..."No, i meant from the U.S. Arsenal"

Yor funny, but you also have to realize this uniforms are probably not US military issue, just visit any US military base around the US and you will see that, just outside the military bases you have many stores that sell copies of military iteams, ranging from drinking canteens to training grenades to uniforms that look similiar to government issued but are not, and ANY CIVILIAN can purchase them not just militray memebers... But i guess any unsuspecting civilian, wouldn't be able to tell the differece anyway...

And if you do live close to the border as I do, do as I'm doing, "STOCK UP, LOCK AND LOAD!" protect your home!(USA)

- US Veteran (USMC)

Anonymous said...

"No, i meant from the U.S. Arsenal.
dont put words in my mouth Ass Hole.
Those uniforms are U.S. Issue.
and being so close to the Border of the United States, dont insult my intelligence by saying they came from thousands of miles to the south."

you're an idiot, since when is owning camouflage illegal in Mexico or the U.S.? the guns all came from south america, look at the rpgs! where can I buy one in the U.S.? at a gun show? LOL

Anonymous said...

State and Local politicians Protect Narcos Historically. Failure to cooperate with Fed /Military is part of that protection. Resisting Federal takeover,keeping control at the local level, will allow local politicos to keep their positions with Narcos IN TACT,its all about the MONEY. Coahuila is Z country bought and paid for,NOW lets see what BS the governor and others come up with to protect their CASH COW.I love the GOOD WORK being done each siezure,guns drugs, vehicles,Narcos get them all hurt them,Good Job!!

Anonymous said...

these uniforms could have come from the south along with the cocaine, or been made in a sweatshop anywhere

Anonymous said...

Oh i get it, the United Snakes of AmeriKKKa are Blameless, got it.

Matt said...

Los Pepes. If your government cannot stop this, then perhaps the population should take care of it? Why let the government seize those weapons from the cartels, when a highly organized civilian group could seize those weapons by force, and use those tools to further eradicate the cartels.

Another idea is for the government to issue letters of marque and reprisal to legitimate local or foreign companies, and create an offense industry that profits from the killing or capture of cartels.

Anonymous said...

June 12, 2011 10:15 AM
Anonymous said...
No, i meant from the U.S. Arsenal.
dont put words in my mouth Ass Hole.
Those uniforms are U.S. Issue.
and being so close to the Border of the United States, dont insult my intelligence by saying they came from thousands of miles to the south.

Those uniforms pictured are no longer current US Military issue and usually the stockpiles of uniforms that are no longer used are auctioned off or sold to Large volume surplus Stores.

Most of the uniforms these days end up in the hands of the Chinese and they discount them and sell them back to us and other western nations.
They pay 10.00 bucks for a set and turn around and sell them for 50 to 100 a set.

Anonymous said...

Those uniforms could have come from anywhere. There are no restrictions in the U.S. on who can buy camouflage and they are widely available online and at surplus stores in the United States. Quality ranges from American made military specification to cheap Chinese knockoffs. They probably came from wherever the purchaser got the best price.

As for the weapons, yes, some may have come from the U.S., especially in light of the Gunwalker scandal, but anything full auto or explosive probably came from South or Central America, Mexican police or military stocks, or from somewhere overseas. Contrary to popular opinion, a civilian can NOT buy an RPG or live hand grenade at a U.S. gun show or store.

Anonymous said...

Someone is buying them and selling them in the U.S. Black Market, or dont you know there is a
Black Market?

Anonymous said...

is funny how people think that there is not a black market for guns in the US

Anonymous said...

After reading several of the comments in both this and other blogs, I am not surprised to read the usual diatribe: the Americanos are responsible for all this, they are the ones letting guns into Mexico, they have no controls on military uniforms, etc., etc. I see that a couple of individuals have already pointed out the more salient flaws in this article, mainly that military clothing is not subjected to control or restriction in the U.S., and that automatic weapons and destructive devices are not readily had, even in the U.S.
My main concern here, and the thing that bothers me most, is that no one ever articulates how it is that, though the U.S. is “flooded” with all these weapons, I have yet to hear of any atrocity of the type and scale as the ones currently going on in Mexico ever happening here. It seems to me, then, that it is not the guns that are the problem but the failed Mexican State and the inability of the law abiding citizens of Mexico to be able to obtain these same guns for their own protection.

Anonymous said...

Yes there is no doubt that there are mexican dumb asses as there are american dumb asses, just drop a troll into a thread and they all get mislead.

The issue here is why are all these drugs showing up now? and the innuendos about moreiras involvement on the issue. dumb asses!!

MJ said...

What an extraordinaly arsenals, I wonder what happened to these captured arsenals / weapons? Authorities using them for the war, sell them or put them up in the museum? Thank god drug cartels don't hold Missiles but you never know. Maybe they actually have..... Wait until the authorities siezed them.....

Anonymous said...

Still think the Mexican Military should not have been activated to fight these para-military drug cartels? I wonder how much different things would be if Calderon would have never activated the military. The bottom line is the drug cartels do not recognize nor do they fear the Mexican government...they are arming themselves to combat any entity that stand in their way..be it legitimate or criminal. The only glimmer of luck is the majority of these rank and file narcos have no or very limited military training.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Why doesn't the Mexican government allow its citizens to arm them selves? Are they afraid some one will shoot a cartel member? These cartel members that are no more than dog droppings would think twice about hijacking a bus.

Anonymous said...

These guns should be n the hands of the population. The government (the largest cartel of them all) does not permit gun ownership aside from water guns and slingshots jeje.
The military are implicated in illegal confiscation of legal waepons at farm and small town raids. Dont believe me? Then your an idiot becaus eI have family in Durango and all throughout the sierra the imbecil soldiers come in by surprise and take away what little ammo and old rifles people have.
Heres a big FUCK U to all the sheep that believe all what Calderon and the TV says.

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