General Luis Crescencio Sandoval Gonzalez, military commander of forces in northern Coahuila, has thanked the people of Piedras Negras for their cooperation in the fight against Los Zetas by way of supplying information through the use of anonymous tip lines.
The General let the citizens know that although military intelligence has been successful it has been eclipsed by the intelligence supplied by the citizens of this border city that is located across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas.
One citizen from Piedras Negras reported to Borderland Beat that although the presence of the military has been intrusive, the majority of the city's citizens have a renewed sense of patriotism as they are seeing their efforts at denouncing organized crime rewarded with positive results.
"They (the military) have come into my place of business and have stopped people in the streets, they investigate you and release you with anonymous hot line telephone numbers asking for your help and cooperation."
"I saw a group of halcones and reported their location and was amazed at the quick response of the military. They promptly raided the address and took everyone away. I don't know what happened to them but the population is reporting everything they see, they are encouraged by the General."
"Quieres ser un patriota?....Chinga a un sicario."
It is not known if the shootouts that occurred Wednesday afternoon in this border city were the result of anonymous citizen's tips but after the fighting was over five gunmen and four soldiers lay dead.
The fighting Wednesday started in the colonia Las Palmas and spread to the colonias Nueva Americana and Periodistas along Prolongación Pérez Treviño.
One gunman died in Las Palmas inside a Ford Lobo (F-150) pickup and four others were killed on the Prolongación Pérez Treviño.
According to the Zocalo newspaper report four soldiers died and three others were critically injured when their "rapido" pickup lost control and turned over due to excessive speed during the pursuit. The three soldiers were medevaced by helicopter to a military hospital in Nuevo Leon where one of the men passed away Thursday due to the severity of his injuries.
Sedena released a communique stating that military forces also seized 15 rifles, 189 magazines, almost 4,000 rounds of ammunition and 5 vehicles during the operation in the Las Palmas area on Wednesday.