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