Texas sheriff says the border town is the new Juarez.
Zetas and government forces have intensified presence, complicated by the apparent growing presence of the SInaloa Cartel.
Much is spoken about Humberto's governorship and agreements he made with the Zetas. Violence was abound but few spoke about the many “disappeared” or dead, including the Coahuila press of which the Moreira’s have a large investment in newspaper and radio outlets. Zetas have the last say of what narco news regional newspapers run. For the killings reported, many times more go unreported. The fact of the matter is that Coahuila has never maintained an official count of drug deaths or disappearances.
Because of the lack of media coverage and official counts, estimation is the method used to tally deaths and kidnappings. The government of Mexico has concluded that Coahuila may have the most "missing" persons, a reasonable person would insist surely it is one of the top 3 or 4 states that have high numbers of kidnapped persons never to be seen again. If one looks at the Coahuila map it reflects a large land mass, but it has a small population rendering large masses of land that are vacant undeveloped and many prime locations to dump bodies. (see maps on page two)
In Acuña, in one violent week while Humberto was governor, terror gripped the city, as kidnappings and killings erupted in a narco rampage. Buildings and homes burned to the ground-fire fighters were warned not to attempt to extinguish the fires, or pay with their lives-the chief of police was killed left with a narco message in the parking lot of a large candy warehouse, torched and destroyed.
Though citizens witnessed the violence around the city, not a word of the violence was reported on the radio, television or Coahuila newspapers. For three days, no reporting then finally a report of the chief, but little else. Fast forward to October 2012, the night of Lalo Moreira's murder, Lalo is Humberto's son. Hours after the murder four men were killed and thrown into the Bravo, on the Acuña side of the river.
One victim was not dead ,and despite being handcuffed, he managed to drift to the Del Rio side of the river where Border Patrol watching the events unfold, rescued the man and took him to the hospital. Upon his release he was kept in GEO for deportation processing. The name he gave was "Jesus Piña". A strange thing is Jesus is a dead ringer for Victor Sifueñtes- the police supervisor wanted for Lalo's murder- and when parties connected to the "Jesus" case were shown Victor's photo they made a positive ID as he being the man in the river calling himself "Jesus Piña..
Victor had disappeared directly after "finding" Lalo's corpse and was on the run for weeks. "Jesus" was deported, then Victor was apprehended in the Coahuila city of Monclova.. When he was picked up Victor's face still bore the injuries and scabbing consistent with Jesus' injuries sustained from his late night encounter in the Bravo, just hours after Lalo's killing.
None of this was reported in Mexican news. However, the story of the 4 bodies dumped in the Bravo was in the Del Rio Herald, stating the bodies were dumped on the Acuna side. Four bodies and not a word written about it in Coahuila nor Mexico. It is evident that Coahuila is no better off with Rueben Moreira. Corruption is still very much alive and thriving in Coahuila.
Ruben made the decision to send forces and fortify the border town of Piedras Negras. Zs did not take kindly to that action, and successfully executed a mass prison escape from the Piedras Prison of 131 inmates. When most inmates stayed close to and in the area it was obvious they were freed to defend Zeta ground.
|Humberto left stands next to his brother Ruben|
No one believed the governor's announcement and the action incensed the Humberto Moreira family further. This time Lalo's younger brother took to Twitter to accuse his uncle Ruben of being a liar.
|Blame the dead guy-an often use tactic to close cases|
In the weeks that followed, police and army presence increased in Acuña and Piedras, Zetas retreated from Acuña seemingly to concentrate on Piedras. Meanwhile as this heavy deployment in to the area by federal and state forces with the intent to fight off the Zetas and maintain peace, rumors of CDS presense growing both in Acuña and Piedras. The rumors have been persistent.
-click on read more below for page 2-
Two weeks ago narcomantas -banners- began flooding Coahuila. In the banners they accuse two men of being free to conduct narco business with the blessing of the federal police in Piedras. The men are identified as member of the Golfo cartel. Sinaloa and Golfo have an alliance. So if this is all true, and it appears so, what he have is a war zone with federal and state forces, and three cartels. Is it any wonder if some are suggesting that Piedras is the new Juarez?
Take a look at the Brewster County Sheriff's office entry on their FB page this week-though it says Acuña, I am certain it is meant to read "Piedras Negras". The men in the photo were the accused killers of Lalo upon the transfer to the Acuña prison from Saltillo this past week. The one on the left is Victor Sifueñtes, the police supervisor who "found" the body, and suspected of his murder.
|Click to enlarge|
There were many lessons available from the Juarez tragedy. Lets hope they are applicable in the strategy of Piedras Negras and other hot spots so we will never reach a point of being able to declare a city as having "8 Murders a Day". Let's hope those deaths were not completely in vain.
His downfall was perhaps his stubbornness, and inability to adapt, sticking with plans that fail without making changes.
It is unfair to speak of him as the President of the Dead. No matter who was in office the numbers would have escalated, because the playing field has changed.
Many groups, gangs and smaller cartels have evolved, all wanting a piece of the plaza. There are more players, more players result in more deaths. One can easily argue a case that Calderon kept the number down from what it would have been.
But he was the first, and the first is seldom the best. However, if I am to be honest he was the best that Mexico ever voted into office. No doubt in my mind about that.
For an interactive map link here. Click on any tile to see roads and cities
|Coahuila surrounded by:Chih, Dgo, Zaca, SLP and N. Leon|
|West to east north to south major hwy lead to Piedras and Acuna|
Sources for the remainder of the post:
I used my previous BB Posts, and my Coahuila sleuthing partner TexPatMex