Thursday, 15 May 2014

New Offensive in Northeastern Mexico by Government and Military - Proloque


    Observations and comments are exclusively from El Gringo Viejo, and are not submitted to any agency or individual for amendment or approval.   These are the perceptions, experiences, observations, and information collected by El Gringo Viejo by passive enquiry of civilian and military personalities in the Tamaulipas Theatre of Operations.

     During the past three weeks, another outbreak of senseless violence re-occurred in Tamaulipas State of Mexico situated in the northeastern corner of the Republic.   For the past 18 months, the fruits of efforts for five years began to pay off in quick order with numerous arrests, detentions, deportations, and killings of numerous cartel members and ranking personalities.   A citizens' revolt against the "elements of organised crime" as the government's euphemism refers to them, in the west-central State of Michoacán caught everyone off-guard, especially the "elements of organised crime". 

    The destruction of the hierarchy and most of the rank and file of the group stupidly and offensively named The Knights Templar (Los Caballeros Templarios) was accomplished by that citizens' militia numbering some 20,000...or roughly two light-infantry divisions....and the Mexican Army and the Mexican Naval Infantry
    Other victories were had over cells, large and small, and against major personalities such as El Chapo Guzman of the western area Sinaloa Cartel.   There seemed to be a rush of successes, more like 10 steps forward and 1 step back ratio and the social ambience of Mexico has changed for the better and remains at that level now.   Much credit is due to the previous administration's willingness to literally bite the bullet and fully mobilise against the counter-cultural forces.  Mexico was probably, in my opinion, about four years away from a 197os Beirut - Lebanon like anarchy.   Therefore, it is my opinion that the administration that brought Mexico back from the edge of a very bad precipice was the PAN government of Felipe Calderon Hinojosa.
     The present President has done some typical centrist party things, but in the broad brush matters he has continued Mexico's push into the direction of privatisation of anything that does not work well under government ownership or control.   His brightest jewel in the crown at this moment is the doubling down by the military upon these wanton groups of subhumanity known are cartels, pandillas, and their halcones (falcon and hawk-like lookouts),
    At this point, most if not all of the areas of the Yucatan, most of the central colonial highlands, centred where one finds Guanajuato State, and the adjacent States of Queretaro, Zacatecas. Jalisco, and Aguascalientes are in very good to excellent shape.  Michoacán, with the destruction of the Familia Group and the "Knights Templar" Group might be nearing normal condition within the long as brutal pressure is maintained against the miscreants.

     Every region and almost all States, to my knowledge are at their previous peaceful level or have improved markedly from their low points in 2012.   If the reader is waiting for a "but, ", there really is none.  If one asks, "Then what about the recent flare-ups in Matamoros, Reynosa, Cd. Victoria, and the Tampico areas of Tamaulipas State?  Isn't your place out there in the middle of nowhere, right in the middle of all of those places?  Don't you have to drive through all of that just to make it there?"
    .....the correct response is, that what occurred two weeks ago was, except for the loss of one Army soldier, two Federal Civil Policemen, a heavily decorated State Police Inspector leading an Army unit,  a taxi driver, and another civilian at an intersection in Reynosa, is that the flare up was pretty much just that.
    I am angered and distraught over the loss of the civilians, constabulary and military.  But the fact remains...They won.  Again. For these losses they (the organized criminal element) exchanged 22 of their own.  In each confrontation, 90 per cent of the attackers were killed.  Ten per cent were wounded and captured.  Among the dead was the last of the original Zetas, and the only one who had not deserted from the Army, but rather had resigned his enlistment.   And he was the only one known to have still been alive.

    The residual bands and cliques of lower range cartel people do not have the strategic vision, nor even much tactical ability, to effectively operate large scale criminal activity.  This was evident two week-ends back when a pick-up or mini-van of four delinquents would attempt to assault a convoy of 30 or 40 heavy infantry with very advanced military skills and weaponry, including Barrett guns and belted 50 calibre machine guns and other resources.   It is sincerely a form a profound stupidity or suicide.   There is no other explanation.  It has been happening with increasing frequency over the past year and a half.

    Further, the events of two weekends ago were mainly a contention between which of the rag-tag residuals were going to hold sway over the previously lucrative channels of export of human misery....drugs and slavery/extortion in the handling of mainly what are now Central American illegal entrants into the United States.  It is a miserable business, and daily in Hidalgo County of Texas we have one, two, or three 'safe houses' liberated by police, who find 20 to 80 people jammed into houses of all descriptions....huts to mansions.

   On the other side of the Rio Grande, the Mexican military liberates people being held for extortion payments (essentially kidnap ransom), held for days without anything but the most minimal food and water, no bathroom or facilities, while the family in Tegulcigalpa looks around trying to find whatever 3,000 dollars American is.  What do they do?  Go to the corner and ask a guy, "Say buddy, can you spare me  50,000 Mexican pesos?"   For an Honduran family, that would be around an annual income.....three or four thousand dollars.

    So, all in all, it was a futile effort by about 300 disparate, multi-headed, lower-caste and lower intelligence individuals to try to re-impose something like the shadowy, terroristic,  night-time reality of two years ago in these areas.  They are having difficulty in recruiting, and the new bunch does not seem to have the ability to be so depraved as to simply slaughter 40 or 60 or more Central Americans who will not carry bundles of weed or bricks of cocaine over the Rio Grande.   Then there is another thing on the near horizon.

Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong

Miguel Angel Osorio Chong

Secretario de Gobernacion
Estados Uidos Mexicanos


      During the two days previous to this one, there was a long, long meeting held in Reynosa, and chaired by the Secretario de Gobernacion, Miquel Angel Osorio Chong.
     Present were the governors of the States of Nuevo Leon,  San Luis Potosi, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas.  Osorio Chong did not come on a listening tour.   He came to reward the good works and then to declare that a new offensive is to take place.   Some of the military resources and other assets of the government and elements of foreign authority, were going to work to contain the greatest number of members of "organized crime entities" and force them into the State of Tamaulipas.   The State is going to be divided into five main governmental and administrative districts.  Matamoros area, Reynosa area, Victoria-Cuesta de Llera area. Tampico-Madero-Alta Mira, and then in the far south of the State, Cd. Mante - Antiguo Morelos.
     Each area will be commanded by an admiral of the Navy or a general of the Army.  Each would be responsible for imposing and maintaining absolute civil tranquility in his area.   Lacking civil recourse, each general officer will have the authority to impose detentions and to declare martial conditions in any given area.   There are bodies of federal prosecutors and investigators who will stand ready to receive any and all who are taken alive and who are arrested under various statutes pertaining to family health and criminal felony conspiracy.   All detentions will be moved to prisons in and around the Mexico City.

    Then, the objective of these measures is to restore the area to a level of delinquency that was common in the period before the cartels, or lower.   The objective is to minimize the military and police casualties and to eliminate the effects of cartel violence upon the general population.   Patrols of major highways and byways will be quadrupled and military presence over-all will be tripled.  The Secretary is apparently taking advantage of the fact that the same or slightly more troops can be deployed more effectively now that such large areas pf the Republic have been essentially pacified.
     The mission for our area, Cd. Victoria and 100 kilometres in radiua in all directions  is very clear.  Organised crime is to be degraded into nothingness.   There are estimates of up to eight more regiments and support troops coming into the State of Tamaulipas.   The Governor will be essentially displaced except as a ribbon cutter and a signer of ''authorisations'.   So we shall see what happens,  next.  With no particular humility, allow us to state that our assessments to this point have been better than any others.   We think that these measures will serve to further degrade the residual semi-organized criminal element.  It is like grinding rocks into sand.  Squashing and crunching each flake and fragment until it no longer has any shape or form, and until it is, quite frankly no longer living nor capable of procreating is the hope of all, truth be known.

(as a special note, we have corrected in the first paragraph the phrase "west-central State of Guanajuato to west-central State of Michoacán four times now, and it keeps changing back.   Please bear with us)

More about all of this as events unfold...and they are unfolding as we speak. We are grateful for your attention and comments.
El Gringo Viejo
please enjoy this moment by a man from a better time.....