We have had a couple of episodes of moderate rain finally. It has not been enough to really break the Winter drought, but any moisture falling from the sky is welcomed, at this point. The blessings we have for being close to the Tropic of Cancer and close to the mountains is a fairly dependable 50 inches of rain per year. But, as we have stated before and as is discussed on our website, 90% of this rain is bunched into late April through early July and then again late August through the first days of November. So, what we are receiving is about on schedule.
Where it has been raining a little more heavily and on an almost daily basis is the Cerro Pen~a Nevada about 30 miles to our west. During these rainy spells there are times that the higher points of the mountain's peaks will cover up with snow during the wet Summer episodes....and it makes for an interesting conversation starter. So far, there has not been any snow, however.
We are picking up lots of returning birds, nesters, and all the regular gang of our feathered friends. The hummingbirds have been especially numerous, both as individuals and in terms of the number of sub-species. The rain has helped the flowering things and this brings more of the whole bird and butterfly thing, of course. We have finally been picking up a good number of Monarch butterflies heading north, and using the Quinta as a generational stop and/or a fueling station.
In the previous post, I was writing to transfer a bit of information that is kind of an open secret. Sometimes though, while writing I forget my point, especially when there is a knock on the door and someone needs a bit of help with an auto with a dead battery. So, after helping a neighbour jump his battery back to life, I forgot to return to my soliloquy's script.
One point was that I had learned that Mexican soldiers who are planning on an extended tour of duty or a career in the military, and who want to serve in the area of infantry or special tactical forces, are being given advanced infantry and combat training by sergeants who are drawn, intentionally from the American, British, and Israeli military. These foreign military men serve as private consultants....unattached to any government. Supposedly they are retired from active duty, and are receiving concessions and salaries from Mexico's normal military training budget.
Certain of those completing advanced infantry training are sent to Fort Benning and someplace in Cornwall for other training...especially that which deals with the computer technology that pervades all matters in advanced militaries to-day. Ominous clouds gather around that fact because the original Zetas were composed of a renegade group of highly trained combat sergeants who had trained at Fort Benning in Georgia.
Once back they served well enough in active deployments in Mexico, primarily with concerns about communist guerrillas infiltrating the lower Yucatan and working to join an axis of their area with "sub-comandante Marcos" in Chiapas. That action was won, and the communists were badly tattered much to Rigoberta's dismay, but the abovementioned sergeants became bored apparently with garrison life .....and things they called "school crossing duty".
Some of the sergeants resigned from the military and "went private" (into civilian life). Others even went and volunteered into the American Army and served in the second Iraq War. But, about 30 of them went renegade and simply deserted. These 30 offered their services as "bodyguards" to the cabos of the Gulf Cartel which operated between Colombia, Venezuela, and northeastern Mexico. Of the original 30 or so, all have either been killed or in some few cases imprisoned in Mexico or the United States.
The dead and imprisoned were replaced with others who were, in turn, killed and or imprisoned in Mexico or the United States, or in some cases Europe or Colombia. Since then, the "leaders" have become younger and younger, less and less militarized, less disciplined, less intelligent, and because of their spontaneousness and undisciplined nature, almost impossible to understand. Many security consultants caution their clients and the American public with the "advanced firepower, communications, night-vision capacity" and so forth. They are compared to our Green Berets, to the Taliban, or the Al Qaeda as exemplars of military prowess.
To me, and to what few Mexican military contacts the Old Gringo might have directly or indirectly, the younger "pseudo-zetas" seem more like over-armed "Pandillas" (neighbourhood gangs), fighting with other drug trafficking cells in other neighbourhoods, nearby towns, and doing little to store wealth, be cunning, or even to choose their battles with the Mexican Military. The rule still holds.....Every time they go up against the Military, the Zetas or associates always lose and lose badly.
The Zetas and the older Cartel groups have spent much of their energy fighting each other......much blood and many resources. The drug trafficking has become head-scratchingly strange. Last week, Mexican military sources informed the Texas constabulary that they had learned of three stash house locations along the border on the Texas side. Anonymous Informants had told the Military that the houses were at such-and-such addresses. Various State and local police agencies went and checked out the places and, lo & behold, over nine (9) tons of cannabis, all nicely packaged, was recovered for evidence rooms and incinerators.
A couple of weeks ago, the Mexican military complained to local police agencies in Texas that their Naval Infantry helicopter pilots were being "laser beamed" by dumboes in an upper income subdivision in the far south part of Mission, Texas. A State of Texas Department of Public Safety patrol helicopter went on standard Rio Grande back-up patrol....keeping an eye out for the Mexican Naval Infantry's information about the locale of the "phantom laser"....and, lo and behold...the helicopter FLIR'd the dumboes intentionally "shooting" the Texas DPS chopper pilots with the blinding laser beam. It was coming from the back yard of a lower-range mansion.....which was visited in short order, and both dumboes were presented for charges and arraignment the next day. Unfortunately, it is only a misdemeanor, but if they can be linked to something more nefarious, then the charges could be up-graded. In that they had lawyers representing them in a misdemeanor case, it could be assumed that they are involved in something a bit heavier than "playing with toys for big boys."
Another sad part of the deal is that these "new, modern Zetas"....the elderly ones who are 23 to 34 years of age spend their time drinking whisky, Miller-lite, smoking dope, and driving around in very expensive, very showy stolen autos....they play games like asking a subordinate to steal an Escalade and bring it over for 2,000 dollars. The subordinate, eager to please, steals an Escalade, brings it to the "Zeta Leader" who promptly shoots the "little Zeta", while bragging to his 12 year old girlfriend....,.(sometimes they are elderly, up to 13 or 15)...."I just saved 2,000 dollars!!!" Hahahaha!"
Anyway, there are more things, and more pleasant things to be talking about, which we shall. But, these things, while messy, speak to what I genuinely feel is going on.....A steadily improving civil situation....that in many ways was never as bad as what has been being reported .....and in other ways...was much worse.
Thank all of you as usual for your continued interest and especially for your questions and comments.