Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Hooray! Hooray!! with additions (12:40 pm)

    This is a substantial piece of good news.   The nationwide dragnet by Mexican police and military,  looking for people with active warrants in Mexico and/or any other nation of the world (re: United States, France, Spain, UK Commonwealth) has resulted in the arrest and detention of 2,000 really bad actors.   There  are 250 who are destined for deportation because the pleasure of their company has been requested by the above-named countries.   This dragnet began, somewhat in co-ordination with the American effort to round up legal and illegal aliens who have wants and warrants in the United States and Mexico, and other countries around the world.
     The really big news, however is that the people in Tamaulipas State...where our little place is found....were surprized to see columns of heavy infantry coming into their communities throughout the State.   Especially in the cabeceras municipales (county seats),  folks having a barbeque at home or giving their children 'paletas' (ice creamy frozen treats) on the plaza, began to see on Sunday last, several thousand more new Army troops were being inserted.    They are building on the successes of the surge from two months ago, when President Calderon sent an additional 36,000 troops to the States of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon.
      The 36,000 was added onto a previous 40,000 and has resulted, predictably, in pitched battles between different groupings of cartels.    The disorganization among the cartel people has caused a great increase in arrests and casualties in their ranks.    It has been noted on the Texas side of the Rio Grande that the efforts to smuggle marihuana and drugs to the "otro lado" have become increasingly comedic, hysterical, and farsical in their execution.    Each week for the past two months the cartel people have lost 40,000 pounds of marijuana or more and between 25 and 300 pounds of opiate-based material...(much greater value per pound).     These are apprehensions by the Mexican Armed Forces and the Texas and US authorities.
        These last 2,300 Army troopers are extemely important.   They are "urban rangers".  They have positive-result experience in taking over cabaceras municipales, de-commissioning the local constabulary,  and subsequently evaluating that local constabulary in terms of policing skills, alcohol and drug use, veracity by polygraph, firearms capability, heroic and/or over-and-above efforts records, first-aid knowledge, physical condition, intellectual ability, and so forth.
    ALL THE POLICE ARE BEING REMOVED FROM SERVICE IN ALL 43 COUNTIES OF THE STATE.   The ones who are evaluated and considered worth salvaging are to be sent to a special military training base in the State of Coahuila (adjacent to Nuevo Leon) for three months of intensive physical, intellectual, and police training.   Those who have some issue that would preclude reasonable inclusion in this new professionalisation effort will be removed from the constabulary.    Those who are removed but who have no legal or moral disqualifications will be sent for other training, perhaps forensic collections training.
     The biggest cities are first to go, so Reynosa for instance had 300 heavy infantry essentially take over the entire policing issue for that city as of yesterday.   They will be backed up in close support by one battalion of five "welded companies" of heavy infantry  (approximately 1,200 effectives) already in place, but having had slightly different duty assignments.     Now, they are all involved in assuring the domestic tranquillity of the entire County of and City of Reynosa.    And yes, that means traffic regulation and control.
     This also means that a community that has risen to the level in recent years to almost, kinda-like okay....will be fairly quickly transformed into something that might look like a military base in terms of order and presentation.
      The Municipios (counties) in order of size will all have their police units replaced totally.   In six fairly small outlier municipios there never was or, has ceased to be, a local police presence;  these will be staffed as well.    The occupation will be completed within 6 days of yesterday.    It started with the largest city first, Reynosa.   Then follows Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Tampico, Cd. Victoria, Cd. Mante, Cd. Madero, Cd. Altamira, and Cd. Rio Bravo, in that order.    These cities represent 90% of the population of the State' 3,000,000 people,   but all the cabaceras (country seats) will be occupied in force before the end of the month, including Abasolo, Aldama, Antiguo Morelos, Burgos, Bustamante, Camargo,  Casas, Cruillas, Gomez Farias, Gonzalez, Guemez, Guerrero, Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, Hidalgo, Juamave, Llera, Mainero, Manuel, Mier, Miquel Aleman, Miquihuana, Nuevo Morelos, Ocampo, Padilla, Palmillas, San Carlos, San Nicolas,  Santander de Jimenez,  Soto la Marina, Tula,  Valle Hermoso, Villagran, and Xicotencatl.    Whew!    (The hard part is the alphabetical disorder).

     As you all know, the Old Gringo is an inveterate State's Righter and it must cause a bit of a question in the minds of the normal OROGs about my celebration of the nationalization of the local police forces of a given State.  One of the problems with all of this is that the Constitution of Mexico requires  an authorization by the State's Governor, with the approval of the State's Congress,  at each level of insertion of national military authority.    This request by the present Governor, plus an additional 2,000 pesos per month hazardous duty pay from the State to the common soldier, per month, has all been authorized by the Tamaulipas State Congress about a week ago.   Very important them and to us.    The first authorization for the general troop deployment came about six months later than it should have, according to many observers, including your humble correspondent.
More to follow...will not sign off quite yet.     This is a great day. 

     On the above map, my county is 16 and the State Capital is 41.  One can see that this deployment by the Army will be daunting.   There are several Municipios from the State of Nuevo Leon being trained at the Army facility in Coahuila.    As those cycle out, the Tamaulipas personnel will be cycled in for the next three months.    The Army intends to stay on the ground in their new capacity for at least one year.
      It is worth repeating that the advanced infantry combat training presently undergone by Army personnel is at times joined by participation from American, British, and Israeli training sergeants.