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

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Army Discovers Roadside IED in Camargo, Tamaulipas

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat 

Army (SEDENA) soldiers found a homemade explosive device (improvised explosive device, IED) as well as a grenade at the entrance to the Santa Rosalia Gas Station, in the municipality of Camargo, in the state of Tamaulipas.   

According to the local newspaper La Tarde, SEDENA soldiers were traveling along the highway that connects the state of Nuevo Leon and the state of Tamaulipas on October 7, 2021. They were reportedly in a multiple vehicle military convoy that was making inspection rounds according to a source close to the discovery that spoke to Proceso magazine. 

During their inspection rounds they discovered "ponchallantas" or metal tire puncture devices which are often placed on roads as a standard part of narco tactics to prevent vehicles, especially those belonging to rival cartels or the military, from moving freely. These ponchallantas were placed on the stretch of highway between Peña Blanca and Comales, within Camargo municipality, 

Upon further inspection, the soldiers discovered a few meters ahead suspicious items hidden in the undergrowth which were found to be a grenade and a homemade explosive device that were active and ready to be triggered, possibly by a vehicle passing over the aforementioned ponchallantas. 

SEDENA explosives experts were called to the site. They inspected the device and found it was made up of a PVC tube 80 centimeters long by 4 inches in diameter, with a fuse just over a meter long, next to it was the intact grenade. The explosive experts performed a controlled detonation of the device as it was the best option to deactivate the device given the circumstances.

This grenade is described in Proceso, La Tarde, Excelsior and Aristegui Noticias as being a “una granada calibre 40” or 40 caliber grenade. This likely refers to a 40mm (often called a 40 mike mike in the US) grenade which is best known for being used in grenade launchers, especially under barrel ones (such as the US M203). These are attached to firearm rifles which shoot traditional bullets, allowing the gunman to employ both grenades and traditional bullet firing depending on the situation. 

Example photo showing 40mm grenades.

The use of an unexploded 40mm seems like a bit of a non-conventional choice for the construction of an IED as a fragmentation hand grenade is generally thought to possess more potential for destructive power. It is always possible the grenade was simply abandoned ammo, never intended to be a part of the nearby IED implementation, although its proximity to the IED does suggest an intended purpose between the two. 

Possible Motives 

One of the strongest indicators of motive currently suggested by the reporting is that these two items were placed a few meters from the location where Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) units enter and leave the Santa Rosalia Gas Station.

One possibility is this was a copycat explosive device, inspired by the recent Salamnca bombing (covered here) and the subsequent law enforcement heat it brought down upon the Salamanca plaza by an organization which seeks to benefit from Camargo heating up. The two major cartels thought to be operating in Camargo are the Gulf Cartel (Cártel del Golfo, CDG) and the Northeast Cartel (Cártel del Noreste, CDN).

Another possibility is the device was constructed by local small or big time huachicolero, or fuel thieves, which often seek to destroy gas stations, the legal competition to their business of selling stolen gasoline, as the lack of competition drives up their profits. In this hypothetical, the intention was not to bring down heat on the plaza but simply to damage the PEMEX supply, in what can only be described as a short sighted move as the fear over organized crime employing explosive devices is currently at an all time high. 


  1. Ahhhhh... Setting it on fire is not a "controlled detonation"... Just saying...

    1. Haha. You're absolutely right about that. Maybe I should change my wording but now its just a bit funny to me so I will leave it.

  2. I was just wondering about the history or use of IED's in this game. Does anybody know of any times they have been used in combat (to blow up enemy's truck on scheduled route) or other circumstances? Inquiring minds want to know. Thx

    1. Miss Heather Herrera
      They originally came from the middle East. Iran would supply, anyone that was against US, the eds.

    2. I take that question back. This is actually one of those rare instances where my question was easy to Google and yield results. Carry on...good day🔆

    3. Well Well Heather Herrera
      Shiver. My Timbers.

  3. 9:23 that quote 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend' Is such a classic quote and sums it up so well.thx

  4. Can u image all the M4 being sold to the cartels, from the Afghanistan. Biden cartel poster boy

  5. Terrorist designation ? Any one want to make bets . It would be nice to know that our military went in in one day and took out all the corrupt politicians the corrupt military and the fake ass law enforcement and then Mexico given back to the people and help them rebuild from scratch the best system that works for them where basic life has a value and people arent murdered so one or two assholes continue to get rich . I miss spending time there and have never had a problem with the Mexican not just the people in tourist areas but going deep into the neighborhoods and back woods areas and taking in the awesomeness that is the Yucatan peninsula and stepping back in time and it kills me that we cant do things like that for fear of being robbed or kidnapoed or murdered just becauae its the trend and anyone can get ate up at anytime . I hope it gets better cause there are some beaches there I hope to sit on again someday just living nothing more nothing less ! ! !

    1. Lol like they do to other countries. Right…..

    2. Lol like they do to other countries. Right…..

    3. Chinker blaster.
      This is your teacher, more commas and periods are needed.


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