UN SALUDO DEL COMANDANTE 40 PARA LAS TROPAS was the deadly Zeta greeting taped to the stock of a sniper’s rifle seized during Army operations in the northern Nuevo Leon municipality of Vallecio, located 50 miles south of the Texas border on Federal Highway 85.
The message is believed to reference Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, "El 40", second in command of the Los Zetas criminal organization, whose stronghold is the nearby border city of Nuevo Laredo.
Army troops had a greeting of their own when they raided the Ejido El Alamo at 6:00pm Sunday evening where they also seized 400 pounds of marijuana, 9 AR-15 rifles, 6 AK-47 rifles, 2 hunting rifles, 600 rounds of ammunition, 8 camouflage uniforms, boots, tactical gear, communications equipment and 16 berets with the Zeta emblem attached. The uniforms were reportedly Army surplus made in the U.S.
Military authorities reported the troops were unable to seal a perimeter around the farm and as a result an undetermined number of gunmen escaped in vehicles and on foot.
At the time an Army detachment was mounting a reconaissance operation on the streets of Vallecio and on dirt roads in the outskirts of the town when they ran into the main entrance of the Ejido El Alamo and observed people fleeing the scene.
The drugs, weapons and equipment were located inside a farm building and a white Nissan cargo vehicle parked outside. The 200 kilos (approximately 400 pounds) was wrapped in clear plastic in 63 packages.
All the evidence seized was transferred to the Federal Attorney General’s office in Escobedo, Nuevo Leon.
Thirteen gunmen killed by Army unit in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas.\
A total of 13 suspected gunmen were killed after a shootout with the Mexican Army in a rural area of the municipality of Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas this Monday morning.
According to the preliminary reports a military reconnaissance patrol repelled an attack by gunmen in the rural community of Zaragoza Atizapán.
The fighting occured at a farm where seven vehicles loaded with weapons, clothes and various equipment was seized.
A gunmen identified as Luis David Martinez Reyes who was in posession of an AK-47 was arrested at the scene.
Rio Bravo is located on the Rio Grande border with Texas, between the major cities of Reynosa and Matamoros and is a much used drug smuggling corridor into the U.S.
Although the identity of the criminal group that the gunmen belonged to was not revealed this area is under the control of the Gulf Cartel. It was recently learned that drug traffickers in this area are under orders to fire on U.S. law enforcement personnel if necessary to prevent the seizure of drug loads being smuggled into the U.S.