Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, November 15, 2010

Federal reinforcements arrive in Tamaulipas

file photo

Almost 3,000 members of the Army, Marines and Federal Police reinforced military operations in the Tamaulipas municipalities of Nuevo Guerrero, Ciudad Mier, Miguel Aleman, Camargo and Diaz Ordaz in an attempt to stem the spiraling violence and the growing exodus of residents as rival bands of heavily armed criminals contest that area of the Texas Mexico border.

Troops have been arriving since Saturday on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, where the conflict between Los Zetas and the Gulf cartel has provoked armed clashes, extortion, kidnappings, theft, false roadblocks and "expropriation" of land for use as safe houses and strong points.

The violence and insecurity in the region known as “la frontera chica”, the narrow northern stretch of Tamaulipas between the large urban areas of Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa, has been rampant since the beginning of this year with hundreds of deaths and disappearances since Los Zetas split off from the Gulf cartel.

The situation has worsened dramatically since the death of a top Gulf cartel leader, Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen aka “Tony Tormenta”, at the hands of Mexican Marines in the city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas on November 5th. Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, is a stronghold and traditional home of the Gulf cartel.

This is the first time in Tamaulipas that there is a mass exodus of citizens due to drug cartel violence. A refugee shelter was opened in the municipality of Miguel Aleman to receive the victims forced from their homes, primarily from Nuevo Guerrero and Ciudad Mier.

The prize being fought for is the drug and human smuggling route into the sparsely populated area of Zapata and Starr counties in South Texas.

An unnamed military commander interviewed via telephone by the Reforma newspaper disclosed that the operations began with 1,200 personnel on Friday and by Sunday will continue with more than 3,000 troops and federal police.

"The first objective is to send reconnaissance patrols into the affected municipalities of Guerrero, Ciudad Mier, Miguel Aleman, Camargo and Diaz Ordaz, from both Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa.

"We have finished integrating all the units to be involved in the operations in coordination with the Marines and Federal Police, who will provide support with their infantry and aircraft," said the military commander.

The army battalions involved in this area belong to the Military Zones 7 and 8, wit headquarters in Escobedo, Nuevo Leon and Reynosa, Tamaulipas, as well as Special Forces companies sent from the Military Camp Number One in the Federal District (Mexico City), according to the military commander consulted.

The Federal Police will be working out of Reynosa.

A naval commander said that the work of the Marines will be primarily intelligence operations but will also involve joint patrols with the Army and Federal Police.

The operation, the military source said, will also involve military checkpoints where every vehicle including trucks and passenger transport will be inspected.

Security operations will include aerial reconnaissance and raids in rural areas and ranches.

The military operations come as Eugenio Hernández Flores, the Governor of Tamaulipas, said in a statement this past Thursday that his administration has been unable to curb the the violence resulting from the Zeta-Gulf Cartel power struggle.

Tamaulipas Governor Eugenio Hernández Flores (for a profile of Hernandez Flores's administration see:

Governor Hernandez is infamous as the instigator of the “aqui no pasa nada” (nothing bad happens here) denial statement as security in his state deteriorated. His term as Governor also saw organized crime, always a powerful force in Tamaulipas, reach new levels of infiltration and corruption of state government, law enforcement, business, politics and the media

The Tamaulipas Governor admited that his municipal and state police forces are incapable of dealing with the drug cartel war that has left the state in a dire situation, which has worsened since the death of “Tony Tormenta”.

"Our municipal and state police can not do much (to combat the violence), so it is urgent that the federal government step up its presence along the border of the state," said Hernández.

On the situation in Ciudad Mier, the Governor asked the Mexican Army for help, for them not to abandon the refugee population to their fate. Although the Governor has reportedly sent some aid he cannot guarantee their safety.

The exodus caused by Los Zetas has already hit 6 states.

One of many victims of the federal anti-drug cartel strategy expressed his sentiments from a Ciudad Aleman shelter: "If the Army can not come to defend us, send us weapons to defend ourselves."

The exodus of people from small towns in northern Mexico, who have moved due to threats made by members of Los Zetas, has struck at least six states, said criminologist Martin Barron, a researcher at the National Institute of Criminal Sciences (Inacipe), in a telephone interview with La Jornada.

"The death of “Tony Tormenta” will incite Los Zetas to increase the pressure on about 250 municipalities in the states Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Durango, Veracruz and San Luis Potosi, " said Barron.

According to the criminologist, the first reaction of the people "is to abandon their homes in a climate of public fear and insecurity that is felt most acutely in towns of no more than a thousand people". These small towns usually have no, or only sporadic at best, police protection.

During his academic work at several institutions Barron has documented "an atmosphere of fear that is affecting the psychological condition and will have an unexpected social impact.”

For his part, José Luis Piña, a specialist in national security issues, said the exodus has already happened in other parts of the country, such as Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua, Baja California and in the same cities of Tamaulipas, where organized criminal gangs threaten residents to leave, then take possession of their properties.

He said that since the government decided on a frontal assault on organized crime " we have not seen positive results and everything indicates that the current repressive strategy where we arrest drug dealers and confiscate drugs and weapons, has produced no change at all.”

Jose Luis Peña is right to a degree but we must ask ourselves who is really to
blame for the violence and killings. We can criticize President Calderon for errors in his strategy, for an idiotic lack of focus in earlier dismissing the violence as “son ajustes de cuentas, entre delincuentes” (they are a settling of scores between criminals). We can blame earlier Presidents for not taking decisive action against the drug cartels and say that Mexico would be a better place now if they had.

The war that President Calderon declared against the drug cartels is at worst only partially responsible for the massacres, assassinations, abductions and robberies and collateral damage in clashes between rival criminals. These were going to happen regardless because this violence and greed is in the very nature of drug cartels and organized crime. Remember that it is the Zetas and the Gulf cartel that are driving the people from their homes and ranches.

Imagine if Calderon had not taken any action against organized crime. At what point would all of Mexico resemble Tamaulipas and Ciudad Mier today?

Article sources: (from a Grupo Reforma article) (from a Grupo Reforma) article)

La Jornada


  1. Gerado..
    we are set..leave to MA tomorrow. My team feels proud & excited "like a movie riding in to help the oppressed". I saw the quote about giving weapons so they can help themselves We will try to find the man who said those words.

    My people will caravan the route you & Ovemex suggested. Pls keep them in your thoughts and prayers, each of them going are parents of young children.

    Ovemex, I cannot thank you enough for your help. WIthout which my foundation could not have pulled this off so rapidly. We have the organizational skills and have worked natural disasters beautifully, but Nuevo and Mty is as far east we have been in No. Mx. Ovemex is ultra resourceful working direct with the first lady coordinating and preparing for our arrival..THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! Soon the children and adults will know the world knows of their story now it is important they hear their is such an honor to help them in this way.



  2. Well I hope they interrogated all the local enforcements in northern Tamaulipas which I doubt it... Zetas are so penitrated into the law positions.. And by the looks of it in this articale it states the 3,000 units will be working with the locals.... Good luck.....

  3. There are no Zetas in Durango. They would be crazy to come into the Golden Triangle. The couple that have been stupid enough to try have been quickly executed.

  4. I am fairly new to, lately I have become captivated by the raw news that is provided on here which is often filtered down on the US side. I grew up on the US/Mexico border, at the age of 16 people offered me to drive a truck for them--I refused. Some of my friends were not so wise. I have watched as these cartels have swept the young lives of many close friends both into crime and into death. This kind of stuff I read is not new to me, though the escalation of things is tragic.

    I read this article and the criminologist state "an atmosphere of fear that is affecting the psychological condition and will have an unexpected social impact" I believe that this is what is referred to now in the US as Terror? Is this not Terrorism happening! As the United States continues to provide its resources overseas in the hopes to bring democracy and freedom, what about our own back yard? What is going to happen when this begins to spill more into our streets across America. Will we wait until Terrorism strikes our county again? God bless all those who stand to fight this new war in Mexico.

  5. (One of many victims of the federal anti-drug cartel strategy expressed his sentiments from a Ciudad Aleman shelter: "If the Army can not come to defend us, send us weapons to defend ourselves.")

    this is from the mouth of one of the affected people

    it is hard to believe there are people ,primarily gun control nuts in the USA, that still advocate preventing the gente de Mexico to be able to keep and bears arms for self defense

    viva el ejercito de mexico...the calvery has finally arrived

    now watch the big tuff Z rats scatter

    next year i am goin fishing in N guerro, compra nuevo botas de Don Cuco in mier, and got to lunch in M aleman

    to get some tourists to visit these three little towns as a day tour could be a real little money maker for the people there

    i wish us gringos could sit on our side and let the mexican army push the Z into the river , we could have a real shooting gallery , and the catfish would be fat and happy

  6. This is definitely Terrorism, but since they cannot hang Calderon to take over PEMEX, the USA is not stepping in. They have not done it in the past knowing that women are being killed hourly in Juarez, they will not do it now. They may be under the impression that Mexico can only smuggle drugs and people and are unable to ride an airplane and strike buildings like Al-Qaeda...they are terrorizing an entire country and disrupting commerce, like you at Nov. 15 8:47 Am stated, right in our back yard...i also think this would be in the best interest of the USA to interfere now before it truly gets out of hand.

    make up another story about weapons of mass destruction and get in there USA!

  7. Adam there are zetas in durango,in areas that were controlled by the juarez cartel some narcos got scared and flipped to zetas, in areas controlled by beltranes, and couple areas near the zacatecas border, in zacatecas theres alot of zetas. But it's the golden triangle and there getting shut down hard, there loosing the few territories they had and are scattering. And el chapo and the narcos that support him are gaining even more power in a state that is in there hand. If it continues Dgo will be almost 100% chapos and mayo's

  8. I'm beginning to think that the "zetas" are mostley not actual Zeta. The CIA, or some by-product there of must hold the strings to the actual operators of the Z. As they move with immpunity, have connections all the way up to Sec of State of Mexico, and will not be caught or killed, unless by accident. Zeta logic is not an means to an end, they are teaching lessons. They are also preparing Al Queda (sp?) in movement operations for future US attacks, just as Al Queda is teaching these fellows how, and when to be so deadly. In the end, I bet few middle easter "trainers" and sush will ever make it beyond the shallow graves Zeta's have prepaired for them, but they are giving great information to these guys, who already know the Class 4 combat techniques used by our very own military. These guys don't care how the chips fall, cause they will move in like phantoms to restack them. On the other hand, I read a comment on here by a fellow who promises to be operating out of El Paso into Juarez with a squad of Mex-American Iraq Vet Marines, using snipers and such, and threatening cross border actions to bring death to all sicarios in Juarez... My heart and mind are with him. God Bless this Mess.

  9. Where is the is the comment about the Iraq Vet Marines? I think we should make monetary donations if what that poster said is true.

    Admins?? Anyone???

  10. Army, Marines, and Federal Police in Tamaulipas equals fox in the hen house.

  11. Is it true Heriberto Lascano, leader of the Zetas was captured today? I heard that rumor supposedly it was on mexican TV that he was captured today. Any word to its validity?

  12. Mexican military, shot to kill these cowards, take no prisoners. I think that Mexico should think of hiring some U.S contractors to help out, most of these guys are ex elite military and have extensive training and experience fighting in afganstan and Iraq. Report all the stupid convoys to the military, not local law enforcement. Good luck and take your country back from the cowards out to destroy it.

  13. Contrary to what many people on here believe, the new zeta generation is not well funded or well trained. Most are young/stupid and running on a cocaine adrenaline. They make most of their money through extortion,robberies, and kidnappings thus making them the most hated criminal group in Mexico with the linea coming in at a close 2nd.

  14. Adam I will be more specific concerning where the zetas are in Durango. The town of Santiago has been infested with zetas. They recruit kids and terrorize surrounding towns from Herreras to La Purisima. They have a Military facility upon arrival to Santiago yet they do nothing as the zetas continue to kidnap and terrorize everyone. If the gov. continues this people will finally be fedup and revolt. God help us if this happens Mexico will never be the same ever.

  15. Yes, the Zeta's aren't some elite military group anymore, only the leadership (top two) the rest are mostly low life thugs, but hundreds of armed thugs in a convoy of 100 trucks can make life in hell in Reynosa and Matamorros, I hope CDG can hold the line.

  16. I hope you are not talking about Santiago-Papasquiaro? I know for a fact that there are no Zetas there. That city belongs to the Federation. Most of the militares from there are the ones that chaparoned El Chapo's wedding in Canelas, DGO in 07. Don't know where you get your info from. I also lived there for years and know alot of the people running the show there. Trust me no Z punks there.

  17. Marc.V

    As of last (2009) year,Miguel Aleman police men, numbering about 22 were given by Zetas $18,000 per month to devide amongs themselves, this from an insider, I personally know. when the plaza started heating up in Feb.09' he fled to the other side of the river (Mission, Tx) to protect his family.

  18. Anonymous 9:05 Yep santiago papasquiro has Zetas, Were have you been?Not sure his name but a corral who worked with la linea is working with them. I was just there in april, and one of my uncles were held by them and had to give them money. i dont know were you get your info, they are terrorizing areas around there. In nuevo ideal they've cought a couple before. I know they're fighting for tepehuanes guanacevi and sta maria del oro. Ask around i've heard of them there for like 3years now. Iv had family threatned by them also, go check out yourself and u'l see

  19. So the Governor of Tamps, who resides in Tx...goes to the shelter in Miguel Aleman promising it is safe to return to Mier and wants the people to go back next week. He says this out his ass then runs back to the safety of Tx...

    A few hours later..violence broke out in Mier between the military and least 8 killed. Have not heard a comment from the governor. The people are scared and do not want to return...they were crying after the gov left afraid the shelter would close.

    Kudos to the presidente and his sife Karla, working day and night to care for these people. they are compassionate, caring people. Thank God for them because the government sure is not helping these poor folks.

  20. why is it allowed here to call white people crackers , rednecks, and peckerwoods , all well known racial insults to white people..i thought BB didn't allow such behavior..

    why is it assumed that because you are white that you don't care about Mexico.....what is going on ?

    I am white...i love Mexico...I am one of those fools who would answer any call for help from the Mexican people

    should i be expected to endure racism

    there are lots of white Americans who care about the horrible situation in Mexico..maybe some of them can offer the only solutions that they can apply to the situation, and for many Americans an armed response is the way to deal with armed men who are running wild , robbing , raping and killing

    maybe they are not right , but they shouldn't have to suffer abuse for proposing a solution,

  21. you are all crazy, I am 4 generation from Nuevo Ideal and Santiago, visit every Christmas and August up until this year. Whomever said there were Zetas there is probably so gullible they got extorted or beat up by a few young punks claiming they were Z's when they were not. Probably dead now. Everyone knows Los Chachos run Canatlan, Patos, Chinacates, Santiago, Tepehuanes, Topia, Canelas, Guanacevi, La Cieniga, the list goes on and on. The Power structure is Sinaloa Federation. They run the military there too.

  22. If you men who cheer for one cartel or the other are truly physically free of them you may as well find some courage and join them. Your souls are already with them. And in the end of it you and them will be together.

  23. in this thing there are the choices of the lesser of the two/three /four evils...i am against the Z because before them , if you were not in the business, and /or paid the standard operating mordida you could be left alone to go about your business ...there was even some guarantee of protection against the policia corrupto,,,but these Z culeros are the worst , they are real traidores de Mexico,,,not only did they desert the army, they have brought soldados foreaneo into Mexico to kill people...they have no boundrys least the old guys had some connection to the people ....people knew who they were and in some small ways they answered to the people ..the relationship was symbiotic...the both got a share of the money and protection against outsiders...with the has changed ...they are the huns of the drug business...they will not last , nobody really supports them, how do they exist?,...there has to be some sort of powerful fuerza occulta behind them...governments , international powers ...who knows...all i know is that before them , things were ...we all feel the fear every day

  24. Well the PRI will be back in power in 2 years so they can kick Obama and the US led invasion of Mexico. It is billed as Aid to Mexico but it is in the form of Military Aid, which is designed to help US Military Contractors. Have you seen any new schools, water treatment plants, sewer plants to help the Mexican citizen? That is what I think about when I think about aid to another country. The US put Calderon in office and the mexican people will put the PRI back in power.

  25. I am looking for my brother, he was kidnapped,July 31,2011 it was a Sunday early in the morning in la Juarez 5 Reynosa, Tamaulipas,since then, we have not heard anything his name is Severo Torres Jimenez, but everybody knows him by his nickname Mingo. Please if someone has information, please let us know my email is


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