Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Narco Weapon Progression: Sicarios Use .50 Caliber to Execute Nuevo Leon State Police Chief

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 |

Borderland Beat

 
Dr. Robert Bunker Small Wars Journal 
This significant incident was brought to my attention by the reporter Chivis with Borderland Beat. He also provided the translations. This may very well be the first targeted assassination of a Mexican public safety official by a sniper utilizing a .50 cal rifle (possibly a Barrett but this is speculation).
The standoff range was reported to be 60 meters which is about 66 yards away. This is the distance where a tripod (e.g. tripié del fusil—this is likely in error as a bipod would typically be utilized— but it was left behind so the stabilization device is in question) was found abandoned along with a shell casing—which possibly suggests a lower level of training and/or the immediate need to escape and evade pursuers.
The sniper may have been in a prone firing position as the items were reported found in vacant lot near the Commander’s home. The target was hit in the back with the lot providing a clear line of site to the parking and/or door of the residence. Of interest is that Chivis had interviewed me about Mexican cartel weaponry employment patterns in December 2012. The use of 50 cal. sniper rifles was briefly discussed in the interview.

Francotirador ejecuta con fusil calibre .50 a mando policiaco de Nuevo León

MONTERREY, N.L. (apro).- El comandante de la Agencia Estatal de Investigaciones, Gustavo Gerardo Garza Saucedo, fue ejecutado esta madrugada por un francotirador que utilizó un fusil de bala calibre .50 para dispararle cuando llegaba a su casa en Apodaca, 20 kilómetros al nororiente de la capital, informó hoy la Procuraduría de Nuevo León.

Translation: MONTERREY, N.L. (apro).- The commander of the State Investigation Agency, Gustavo Gerardo Garza Saucedo, was executed this early morning by a sniper using a .50 caliber rifle  to shoot him when he arrived  home in Apodaca, 20 kilometers northwest of the capital, reported today by the Prosecutor of Nuevo Leon.  Full Proceso Article Here

 The Changing Mexican Drug War Brings New Challenges by Chivis Martinez

I wrote this post at the end of December not knowing how quickly Dr. Bunker would be proven correct in his forecast of weaponry progression.  
As the drug war progresses the transitive nature of this war is a study in of itself.  Apart from struggling to realize sheer numbers of dead and missing, elements of war not often written about on a Mexican Drug War blog are essential to determine where the war is and where it is heading.

The spread of Mexican cartel activity worldwide has been a rapid fire phenomenon that has resulted in Mexican cartels now being considered the world’s premier provider of street drugs.  Last week Mexico announced the estimated number of cartels, splinter groups, enforcers groups and gangs wanting their piece of the financial pie is now 80.  Others estimate the number to be 100+.

Increasing cartel presences in Central America have tiny, fragile nations under the thumb of some of the powerful cartels.  Guatemala is an example. By its own estimation 75% of the country is under the control of cartels, namely Los Zetas, with the Sinaloa Cartel also having a good presence in specific areas of the south and a portion of the north border.

It is not difficult to understand the importance of Central America to cartels, as trafficking routes restructured to accommodate both the US and Europe. 

US cocaine use has tumbled in a decline since the late 80s.  It is estimated that 60% of street drugs usage  in the US is marijuana, with RX comprising the bulk of the remaining 40%.  One can envision a scenario wherein knock off RX manufacturing would be conducted openly in Central American labs. 

Additionally intellectual marketing products and other knock off products could concentrate production in Central America, diversifications now comprises 50% of the cartel product and resource line.

Aside from logistics astounding advances in narco warfare exists, including narco manufactured tanks, sophisticated advances in narco tunnels, communication, and weaponry.

Watching the ever evolving cache  of weapons  lingering at the aftermath of shootouts, I wondered what they represented in the changing war. 

I immediately thought of Dr. Robert Bunker as a go to person for answering some of the questions of narco tactical and weapon advances focusing on MANPADS and other weapon… link here to read interview

 Video is a one mile Barrett .50 kill shot in Iraq

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28 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Therefore Chivis is a 'He' and not a 'She'...Confirmed.

Anonymous said...

a .50 calibre is no joke to fuck with, and even nowadays an ar.15 can be fitted with a 40 calibre reciever and barell to make it an even worse weapon to go up against. I m not sure if what you guys see down there in mexico are themilitary version barret's but there are many, many "civillian" versions of it, most notably, the civillian ones i think, and I may be wrong but alot of them dont have a reciever for a magazine. they just have room for one round at a time, so you would need to make that one count. i feel sorry for whomever is on the recieving end of that gun, i bet it was a mess!! hopefully he didnt suffer long..

Anonymous said...

Very interesting read and looks like you were on top of the game once again. thank you

Anonymous said...

"Therefore Chivis is a 'He' and not a 'She'...Confirmed"
Ever stop to think Dr.Bunker is wrong and doesn't know chivis at all.
She openly says she is a grandmother,so whats the big deal?

Anonymous said...

We are lucky they haven't got the new version of the Anzio 20 MM sniper rifle the round is twice bigger than the .50 cal and the maximum effective range is 2.5 times greater. I used an old Anzio when I was a SF Operator with the 7th in Uganda and Angola.back in 1974. That 20 MM is a bad ass rifle, 3 years ago they came with a civilian version.

Anonymous said...

@Feb 26, 10:43am,

Currently, there are two versions of the Barrett .50cal (sniper platform) available to "civilians." One, cheaper model is a bolt action and the other is the ten round semi-automatic. The difference between the two is a few thousand dollars more for the semi-auto version. Each rifle comes with a ten round clip/magazine. The semi-auto runs around $12k-$15k and the bolt action will set you back $9k-$10k respectively.

Anonymous said...

I guarantee you, the "people" using these .50 cal sniper rifles have been trained in there use! You can't just pick one of these rifles up and start killing people from afar! Without proper training on the aspects of this weapon...you won't hit shit! There is a lot more involved in the mechanics of hitting a target at distance than just looking through a scope and pulling the trigger! Just saying!

Anonymous said...

If your going to die in mexico, dying by a bullet should be consider lucky. As we all know the alternative ways...

Anonymous said...

Chivas- Always getting us the best info.out there and many times first. Congrats! I know very little about weapons but I have seen the carnage they inflict. Nightmare. As to Central American companies supplying RX meds, Mexico has done it at least since the early 70's. When the U.S. became the quallude capital of the world, the U.S.stopped giving it out like candy. Who steps in tp fill the need, PHARMA in México. Spring breakers in Corpus, go across the border, go to a pharmacy and by 100 Mandrix.(México's version og qualludes). Each spring I travel to Corpus, to help all the kids who have taken too many. There are adults who drive 20 hours to buy opiates there. I would surmise that once the RX PAINKILLERS, are history in the U.S.(re: U.S. JUSTICE DEPT. SITE), the cartels will have a new massive income. All I can do is help educate,help the addicts and pray. God bless the innocents and this poor mans family. Texas Grandma. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Norwegian Ammo: Raufoss

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh reading the comment about "this poor man's family". This poor man was in league with one of the cartels and the other cartel got sick of it and busted a cap in his ass. Dollars to donuts he was a corrupt son of a bitch who deserved to die.

Anonymous said...

They have been trained? What do you mean when they shoot people with a .50 cal from 60 meters away. At Wal Mart they sell sling shooters with more range than that. Damn! What a training!

Anonymous said...

Was the police chief killed by Zetas or CDG?

Anonymous said...

Isn't that just special .50 cal.@ 60 yards?? Those cartell guys must really know what they are doing,you bet DUH. At lest they probably killed the wright person,instead of some unlucky bystander?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it was the Barrett .50 cal that the gun store in Phoenix called the ATF about because he didn't feel comfortable selling a $14,000 gun to a 21 yr old mexican kid with gang tattoos, no job, and who was on public assistance? And yep, they told him to sell it and it went down to Mexico.

I have a Barrett .50 cal. They are devastating, but all guns have the potential to be 'devastating'. At $5 per shot and $7 -15 thousand, they aren't for everyone. Again, this is a story blaming the weapon and not the asshole who decided to use it. I don't see articles about what type of barrel they used to boil someone alive in "the stew", or what chainsaw they used to decapitate that uncle, or what knife they used to behead that guy the other day. People are bad, not what they use.

And hats off to Barrett for refusing to now sell any guns or parts to New York law enforcement, or any other state who has passed these new bullshit gun laws that go after us who obey the law and do not one damn thing to take guns out of the hands of the criminals who they KNOW are doing the killings. If the people can't have the same weapon as law enforcement, then why would the police need it but to impose themselves on the people. You see, in the US we not only have the right to life, but the right to protect it. And as the Supreme Court has ruled, the police do not have to protect you, but only work to solve the crime. AGAIN, in the US, the police are not obligated to protect you. That lies with YOU. And if you choose not to responsibly take your protection into your own hands, don't cry when your left high and dry.

Chivis said...

About the young Mex man buying the .50 I have not heard of that story. Do you have a link?

As for Dr Bunkers reference to me as 'he', I could have changed it but maybe I like to keep them guessing now and then. :)

No big deal. I am amused and bemused at the relevance a few like to place on the sex of us contributors....



Paz, Chivis

Anonymous said...

Exactly, any idiot can hit someone from 60 meters away, if anything it shows that they're not trained, because its not necessary at that range to use that type of weapon. If true, more likely to make a statement than anything else.

Anonymous said...

Exactumundo.

Anonymous said...

The story about the 21yr.old is A JOKE Chivis.no names.

Anonymous said...

4:53pm. My apologies for not knowing this man was corrupt. Given it was not stated in this post by Chivas, I took the high road. Being in medical profession, I tend not to assume anything. If in fact he was corrupt, God bless his family who had to see a shredded body. If he had young children,my heart goes out to them and all innocents. Texas Grandma. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Umm, 60 yards is just over half a football field. A reasonable shot could hit a man at that distance with a pistol. Dealing with the noise/weight and size of a Barrett to take a shot at that distance seems retarded. Are you sure it wasn't 600 yards or maybe a .50cal pistol?

Anonymous said...

Where can i get one at? lol

East KLN-Asia said...

This post is an example what places borderland beat a part from other Mexican drug war blogs. And is why I return to access a wide scope of material and issues. The complexities of the conflict extend far beyond body count. Great job Chivis.

谢谢

Xièxiè

Chivis said...

Tex GMA

I did not hear he was corrupt. Could be, but people get killed for NOT being corruptible more than being so.

Paz
Chivis

Chivis said...

Xièxiè Kowloon..

Hépíng pǔtōnghuà, (Paz) Chivis

Anonymous said...

a barrett is not the only .50 cal out there, although it looks cool, there are quite a few rifles of that calibre

Anonymous said...

What does price have to do with anything? He was referring to the firepower, even 9mm bullets can kill

Anonymous said...

Real professionals shoot a .408 and can hit a man sized target at 2 miles.

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