Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Nuevo Laredo, Battle Zone Among Cartels

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 |

Blanche Petrich
La Jornada
Wikileaks

In just four months, between November 2009 and February 2010, the U.S. consulate in Nuevo Laredo reported four battles in heavy transit areas between the army and drug gangs. Three of the conflicts were fights with Los Zetas, and only by the grace of God was there no casualties of innocent bystanders."

According to investigations by U.S. agents, none of these incidents were results of plan actions by the armed forces. None of the incidents reported any arrest or casualties of any criminal group.

This is the same timeline of the predicted break up between the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas in Tamaulipas. In the areas of Reynosa, Matamoros, Valle Hermoso and Rio Bravo, there were similiar reports of confrontations "topadas." This was considered a new turning point in the drug war.

In his analysis of the incidents, consulate Donald Heflin concluded that during the first weeks of February 2010 there was "obvious nervousness" within the criminal group of Los Zetas, which controls part of the border city: "They deployed in the streets, including near the consulate and even near the residence of our staff. The level of the tension increased when the local press reported of the arrival of a Mexican government plane heavily guarded. Apparently, Los Zetas had launched an operation called Laredo."

The diplomat sent two vivid chronicles of these episodes of violence in cables; 10NUEVOLAREDO56 and 10NUEVOLAREDO44.

According to the first cable, U.S. security agents of the consulate and agents of the DEA were driving the night of February 19 toward the International Bridge number 2 when they heard automatic gunfire, mortars and grenades. In reports from local authorities, who seemed confused and contradictory to the incidents, denied any involvement from the military in a possible shootout. However, intelligence reports gathered by U.S. officials learned that some soldiers were hospitalized, although a military spokesman "could not confirm nor deny" the alleged version of the information.

The cable provides two hypotheses about the conflict: either "a convoy carrying a high command of Los Zetas accidentally ran into the military" or a military patrol crossed a line (ring) of security of Los Zetas near the international bridge without realizing it."

This episode happened to occur at the time when the mayor of Nuevo Laredo was attempting to present an image of calm and tranquility in the city to restore the flow of tourists. "There could have been no worse timing," says Heftin, as the heat of battle was heard all the way to the auditorium of the mayor of Laredo, on the Texas side, where the congressional leader Nancy Pelosi was holding a celebration for the anniversary George Washington.

Barely a week later, the city known as “la puerta aduanal” or "the customs gate" of the border, named because the majority of commerce trade that transits between the two countries, was witness to another battle, this time between members of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas. Because of the seriousness of the incidents, this forced the consulate to convene a meeting of its Emergency Action Committee, known as EAC (this is a mechanism for immediate response from the U.S. diplomatic mission, which is activated only in times of crisis).

In fact, this battle had already been announced 48 hours before by the consulate's security agents and their informants in the city. On February 26, around nine o'clock at night, the Gulf cartel simultaneously attacked two police stations in the city with grenades and later it was learned, with explosive Satchel type IED's. According to the press on the Texas side, it was a "message" that the Gulf Cartel was ready to regain ground lost to Los Zetas.

Cable continues: "At approximately 2230 hours, members of Los Zetas in balaclavas blocked the street in front of a restaurant where U.S. Consulate staff was dining. With AK-47 weapons they cleared the area. It is believed that they were searching for Gulf cartel members who had attacked the police stations."

At the EAC meeting they discussed the possibility of closing the consulate and to suspend the service of issuing visas, as in Reynosa, but at the end it was decided to keep the doors open.

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17 Borderland Beat Comments:

DFL said...

Gangbangering thugs have taken over these major cities and no one seems to be able to do anything about it. How fucken ridiculus!
To let that happen and know that your police and military are useless and powerless to stop this must really a bitch. If i were there and that was my home, I`d take up arms and defend what was mine with my life. All i can say is thank god i`m an American from the greatest country in the entire world and that if shit ever happened like that here my fellow americans would all pitch in and kick the shit out of thoses worthless sons of dirty , filty street whores!! God Bless America!! (And Mexico-if thats possible)!!

What will Ardents Anti-American responce be??
Does he in his Mexican KKK Club agree or disagree??
We already know his taliban loving thoughts....

eternalcode said...

I agree dfl. So many of my mexican friends are beaten down and feeling helpless. They are dumb founded and confused by the way american men think about the responsibilities that free men and women have. Some of my sad friends in mexico feel like they are not allowed to think about freedom the way we do. It scares them.

Anonymous said...

Why do you keep talking about what happen in the past? We already know what happen. We all know the story. How about you keep with current events. For example, they just found two body guards who were mutilated and they belong to the Governor of Nuevo Leon, I think that's more important than what happen one or two years ago. Just constructive criticism.

@DFL
Your a dumbass. You have the same old mentality that the citizens of Monterrey had before the violence stuck the city. Their mentality use to be "Oh this shit will never happen here." or "we will be able to handle it better." Like they were superior, and guess what happen? We all know the story. DFL please if the narcos wanted to stir up violence in the US side they would. They operate in every city, what makes you think some ordinary street cop or citizens can stop them haha. But their is no need for violence right now, since the US is where they are get all their money from. Money talks, bullshit walks!

Anonymous said...

June 15, 2011 10:47 AM
eternalcode said...
I agree dfl. So many of my Mexican friends are beaten down and feeling helpless. They are dumb founded and confused by the way american men think about the responsibilities that free men and women have. Some of my sad friends in mexico feel like they are not allowed to think about freedom the way we do. It scares them.

I may be a Non-Mexican Hispanic and have some issues with some of the racist remarks from Mexicans for being a Puerto Rican, but I am praying and hoping that the people of Mexico get some relief soon.

Anonymous said...

June 15, 2011 12:07 PM
Anonymous said...
Why do you keep talking about what happen in the past? We already know what happen. We all know the story. How about you keep with current events. For example, they just found two body guards who were mutilated and they belong to the Governor of Nuevo Leon, I think that's more important than what happen one or two years ago. Just constructive criticism.

@DFL
Your a dumbass. You have the same old mentality that the citizens of Monterrey had before the violence stuck the city. Their mentality use to be "Oh this shit will never happen here." or "we will be able to handle it better." Like they were superior, and guess what happen? We all know the story. DFL please if the narcos wanted to stir up violence in the US side they would. They operate in every city, what makes you think some ordinary street cop or citizens can stop them haha. But their is no need for violence right now, since the US is where they are get all their money from. Money talks, bullshit walks!

Oh it can happen, but we are much better prepared and ready for it, this is why our natural right to have arms is protected in the USA, and because the vast majority of us have served in combat and in the military and are far better at Warfare.

However do not take this as meaning we relish any fights, in fact we very much hate to kill our fellow Man, but we will not allow our Wives and Daughters to be killed or murdered for some Cartel fight.

Anonymous said...

@12:11 "Your a dumbass." When you call someone to task on their ideas, it's best to make sure that you don't make such obvious spelling mistakes.

eternalcode said...

Anonymous @ 10:47 AM
I agree with you. I want to see Mexico given back to the Mexican people. I want to see the Mexican people take Mexico back.

Anonymous said...

@June 15, 2011 3:04 PM

First of all, I didn't know it was a F**king spelling contest. Second I live in Mexico and English is my second language, I bet you cannot even say a sentence or write in Spanish can you? No! What a dumb ass.

@June 15, 2011 2:54 PM

I respect the fact that you honestly said that it can happen. But to say you are better prepared and ready for it due to "arms is protected in the USA, and because the vast majority of us have served in combat and in the military and are far better at Warfare" is a load of BS. I know for a fact that less than 1 percent of the US population has actually served.

Anonymous said...

June 15, 2011 2:54 PM
Anonymous said...
@12:11 "Your a dumbass." When you call someone to task on their ideas, it's best to make sure that you don't make such obvious spelling mistakes.

Hey dude,
I just read your post, he did not call anyone a " dumb ass" he just quoted what someone else said and disagreed with them.

Anonymous said...

June 15, 2011 3:52 PM
Anonymous said...
@June 15, 2011 3:04 PM

First of all, I didn't know it was a F**king spelling contest. Second I live in Mexico and English is my second language, I bet you cannot even say a sentence or write in Spanish can you? No! What a dumb ass.

@June 15, 2011 2:54 PM

I respect the fact that you honestly said that it can happen. But to say you are better prepared and ready for it due to "arms is protected in the USA, and because the vast majority of us have served in combat and in the military and are far better at Warfare" is a load of BS. I know for a fact that less than 1 percent of the US population has actually served.

Well I served 20 years and I'm ready, don't know about the poster.
But he does make some valid points, many more of us have served in combat than your average country, after all we are always in some War.

Anonymous said...

@12:11 "Your a dumbass." When you call someone to task on their ideas, it's best to make sure that you don't make such obvious spelling mistakes.

it's your are or you're not your, that means possession

Ardent said...

No, most of these dumbass Right Wingers making comments on BB can't speak more than a word or two of cantina style (banyo, cerveza, miel) Spanish, Anonymous 3:59. Plus, truth be told, most of them make way many more spelling errors in English than you ever did. They are good at dishing out vulgar and ignorant personal insults though! Just like their Right Wing cohorts are in Mexico in Spanish.

Anonymous said...

I'm an American and I don't think anyone really thinks narco violence like this is possible here because our police are completely militarized and if that failed we have the national guard and finally the military.

We do have a fairly well-armed populace, but if it were just American citizens facing narcos who have AR-15s and grenade launchers, we wouldn't stand a chance.

DFL said...

@9:13
"We do have a fairly well-armed populace, but if it were just American citizens facing narcos who have AR-15s and grenade launchers, we wouldn't stand a chance."

THESE ARE COKED OUT ASSHOLES. A WELL PLACED BULLET TO THE BRAIN IS "OUR CHANCE" lol!!

Anonymous said...

Do our nations want a cure for cancer? If we had one what would happen to the income of the doctors, lawyers, bankers, governments?
Do we want to stop the war on drugs and their criminal factions? What would happen to the fairly new 200,000+ employees of homeland security, the ATF, private (for profit) jails and prisons, corrupt politicians, corrupt police, etc.. Decriminalization of the drugs would cut too deeply into government and bankers finances. It is only the lowly citizens being hurt and killed by political policy.

Anonymous said...

Dont you think its funny that in Mexico if a law abiding citizen wants to defend their home or town from criminals with a gun they will be arrested and thrown in prison?
Mexico banned guns over 100 years ago and we see the only ones with gun are the corrupt police and the criminals.....isnt gun control great!

'lito'brito said...

thats the spirit DFL ..give em hell!!!

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