Tuesday, 16 July 2013

State Department Re-issues Travel Warnings for Tamaulipas

Central Government gone wild:
     This is not an advertisement, nor is it a solicitation for business.    Thankfully, our little business is so small that we really would have a hard time handling even the smallest increase in activity.   We are simply using this opportunity to point out the uselessness of approximately 78% of the activity of the Central Government in Washington, D.C.
     The Consul General of the United States State Department in Matamoros, Tamaulipas issued a general travel warning, advising Americans not to travel to the State of Tamaulipas due to the wave of car-jackings, murders, kidnappings, and assaults along with the general violence associated with contests between various organised criminal elements.
      The news release also declared that the number of Americans killed during the past year in Mexico had gone down from 79 to  43, and that almost all those killings had resulted from the Americans being involved in the drug trafficking business.   Then the news release declares that the overall situation is much improved since the peak of the cartel activity in 2011.
     It was like something out of the TWILIGHT ZONE:   A cut-and-paste warning, word-for-word taken from previous warnings (some over 4 years old)  that were equally useless because of failure in terms of precision, the contradictory information, and other "news" that ran counter to what a person who lives in the middle of the situation knows to be true.     It's just wrong....and useless.
     It was such a spooky press release that El Gringo Viejo had to review the normal "un-official" sources of information about the drug and cartel violence.   Perhaps he was head-in-the-sanding....perhaps he was being Pollyanna....perhaps his rose-coloured contact lenses had become permanently attached to the iris.    Check...check...check.  Nope.   The sites that used to shovel up fresh guts and beheadings are pretty much reduced to being police blotter sites, covering domestic violence, predatory step-fathers, and shoot-outs between gangs whose oldest members are less than 15 years of age.   And, even those stories have seemed to calm into the 1975 - 1980 era of intensity.
      Last night we had the confirmation of the detention and arrest of a major, or should we say, THE major figure still standing from within the ZETA Cartel.

CBS NEWS/ July 15, 2013, 7:21 PM (cited source)

Mexican military nabs alleged Zetas drug lord Miguel Angel Trevino Morales

Updated at 10:28 p.m.
A man said to be one of Mexico's most wanted drug lords has been captured: Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, also known as "Z-40."
Trevino Morales, alleged leader of the brutal Los Zetas cartel, was caught Sunday by Mexican Marines in a town called Anahuac near the border of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon states, authorities say.

In a press conference, officials said no shots were fired and three men were arrested with 2 million U.S. dollars in cash, three guns and multiple rounds. It was not clear what the precise roles of the two other suspects were, but Eduardo Sanchez Hernandez, Mexico's Assistant Secretary of Media and Security, said he believes one was in charge of finances and the other was a bodyguard. He did not answer when asked what role U.S. agencies played in capture.
The U.S. State Department had offered a $5 million reward for Trevino Morales.

The Zetas cartel is among Mexico's most violent drug organizations, notorious for civilian killings and beheadings. Is leaders ordered the killing of 72 undocumented immigrants in 2010 in what is known as the San Fernando massacre. More recently in May, the Mexican army said their leaders ordered underlings to leave 49 mutilated bodies in a northern Mexico town square.

Trevino Morales' brother, Jose, was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison in Texas for using a racetrack to hide illegal drug profits for his brothers.
Las Zetas is one of eight major, rival drug cartels involved in an ongoing conflict for regional control.
A horse ranch in Oklahoma was raided in June under suspicions it also hosted a money-laundering operation for Miguel Angel Trevino Morales.
The wanted poster for Miguel Trevino Morales on the Drug Enforcement Administration's website.


Views of Anahuac - a downtown park
   The ones who captured him were elements of the Mexican Naval Infantry.   The take-down was not in Nuevo Laredo, but rather the city of Anahuac, Nuevo Leon which is found to the south, but not too far distant from the Laredos that straddle the Rio Grande.    Trevin~o - Morales is thought to have been born in Dallas, Texas although that data is in dispute.  He was never actually a regular Army soldier in Mexico.  He served a stint in the draft of about six months.   He was never one of the Fort Bragg graduates one associates with the high-ranking sergeants trained in special operations and night-parachute techniques and so forth....those original 27 or so who deserted and sold their services  (committed treason) to the Cartel del Golfo as "security engineers".   All of those have been killed or, for those few who have survived, are in Mexican or American prisons.
     The Naval Infantry, working with several different sources of information, including civilian informants in the locale, established a roadblock ambush on a rural road that locals said he had been using during the hours of darkness, especially the "madrugada" (early morning, pre-dawn hours).

 Main Parish Church
 of Anahuac

     Beyond the roadblock ambush, the Naval Infantry also brought in armed helicopters, and FLIR - capacitated equipment.   The contingent on the ground numbered about 60 infantry, under the command of a naval grade captain, and they received what was thought to be a "convoy" but what turned out to be one vehicle only.   Three men and a driver.  Trevin~o - Morales, his body-guard, his accountant, and the driver all surrendered without firing a shot, although they were heavily armed. It is not known as of yet if any of the weapons retrieved were "Fast and Furious" in origin, but such a thing would be unlikely.
     Word to the wise:   It is almost impossible to escape Forward Looking InfraRed imaging, especially when you are the only vehicle and the only four guys within thirty miles radius who are not wearing Naval Infantry camouflage.   And when you have 50 automatic rifles being held by fellows who really, really do know how to use them...being pointed in your abdominal regions, just put your hands up in the air, very slowly.    And in this same vein, this particular fellow of interest was involved with his brother, in Oklahoma, with the trading of fine thoroughbred horses.   His brother, and several of his brother's friends are making licence plates since about a year ago, and several million dollars worth of horses, land, and fixtures were confiscated, simultaneous to the career-change that the race-horse magnates (now  cockroaches) had invested.
     Any thought that this is just a blip and another Cartel will move in, and/or the "management" of this Cartel will just replace the leader with another, I think is incorrect.   It is my observation that each major blow done by the Mexican military and/or police agencies has resulted in less and less competent operation of the remaining cartel activity.   Also, it has resulted in more intermittent and less intense nefariousness in general....whether it be shake downs, silver-0r-lead alternatives for police and other officials, extortion (ie; waiting outside the schools to take 1/3 or more of the teachers' pay on payday), murders, reprisals, and the movement of marijuana and narcotics.

     So, not only is El Gringo Viejo confused about the latest warning from the State Department...which also included an all clear notice for various States in Mexico previously carrying warnings....but he is also certain that this blow will reduce the activity by another 3%.   And it will free up military assets to go into other areas.   Step by step.   Tick, tock, tick, tock.


More later.

El Gringo Viejo