Thursday, 31 March 2016

Massive Military Deployment to Texas / Tamaulipas Frontier

One of four Personnel Transporters that
 landed suddenly on 29 March 2016 in
 Reynosa, across from McAllen
     We "hypered- up" the banner for this article like the real live press reports and editting gurus do.  This particular analysis allows us to keep the OROG community and others up to date with the real situation for the common slobs-like-me who go and come across the border with some frequency.

     Some time back the Mexican Secretary of Defense (War) announced that there would be personnel changes and redeployments of military resources that would be affecting areas of conflict in certain places within the Republic. This was taken by many analysts as a sign that the Central Government in Mexico City was going to retire the military presence along the border, and perhaps even cut back on general deployments, while announcing a premature "victory over the Cartels" statement.   But, it was not so interpreted by this humble commentator.
   First came a deployment to the Reynosa military headquarters  of 300 "Federal Civil Police" who are actually Mexican Army personnel who have be re-uniformed in black and trained up in urban analysis, investigation, civil rights and civil legal procedures, and the like, although 80% are essentially infantrymen.  It was a surprise move because the press had been stating that the Frontier area of Tamaulipas State was going to be seeing a draw-down of troops, only hours before.   Within two days four airplanes, one of which is shown above, landed in quick order at the Reynosa International Airport.
One infantry company on the tarmac in Reynosa
the day before yesterday....
    Six hundred effectives were organised in rank and file, boarded onto personnel transporters and taken to the aforementioned local military installation about a mile to the west of the Airport.

    Before 36 hours had transpired the black-clad investigating units reported to the black-clad "Federal Civil Police" about the areas where cells existed of "pandillas" (small gangs of very junior-aged punks) who style themselves as members of this-or-that cartel.  Within an hour of their notification, Los Verdes (or "greenies" as the  Regular Army is sometimes called) had deployed to search and detain or destroy the miscreants.
    So, last night, for three hours, Reynosa was the scene, from side to side and top to bottom, of encounters between military force and degraded, criminal hubris.   As of this hour there have been no reports of the number or nature of casualties.  What is known is that the last twenty four hours have been very quiet from Reynosa to Matamoros downriver, and from Reynosa to Mier, upriver.

     What the OROG who follows this blog would like to know, perhaps, is if this activity fits into El Gringo Viejo's notion of the picture of a general, steady degradation of the Cartel and/or organised criminal element and/or common criminal activity.   And, the response as it pertains to this part of the frontier, and the northeastern-most part of the Republic of Mexico is most certainly,  Yes!! 
     For instance, even as we were doing a bit of backgrounding for this submission, it was sadly entertaining, in a way, to review the period from 2008 - 2012 especially, when, in fact, various "experts" declared that Mexico was at the point of becoming disintegrated.   No less than Amb. John Bolton, whom I normally respect, declared that Mexico had entered too far down the road paved with corruption and sloth and could not be considered a true political entity any longer.
     All nature of experts chimed in....body counts did build up....and hope for improvement was nowhere to be found.   But even in the midst of it....and surrounded while being inside the belly of the beast....your humble servant was watching the common people and the wealthy or well-to-do who actually went about their daily chores.   He watched the bureaucrats who had their peculiar habits at times in terms of precise handling of public funds, continue to complete projects...some quite huge.   He also noted that the Mexican military, steadily and competently, defined space and cleared it, and went on to find more space and clear that space.
     With the return of the replacements for the Cartels and Pandillas, each time they were more incompetent.  Each time there was a new contest over local territory, the pandillas and local strongmen would enter into intra-mural combat and wind up killing each other in large part.   The remainders would frequently be "neutralised" by the military.

      The long-distance, overnight deluxe busses between Mexico City and Reynosa began running again.   The first-class and deluxe middle to long distance day busses began running again....300 per day arriving in Matamoros, and 400 arriving per day in Reynosa.....multiply that by the destinations....Mexico City to Guadalajara, Vera Cruz, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Merida, Tampico, etc. literally thousands upon thousands of first class and deluxe busses with 24 to 34 people on board each all rolling again....when once they had been reduced by 60 - 70 per cent.   There are so many signs of the success of Calderon Hinojosa's decision to confront the Cartels, and the wisdom of Pena Nieto to continue the military effort at vigourous, offensive levels. 

     And, as we are quick to point out, we have been having real, live guests at our little adobe hut at a rate that is aa high as the busiest times we had back in the 2003 - 2006 days.   And those were busy times to say the least.   We see the change in the fact that our neighbour and best friend in Mexico is putting in a huge investment to upgrade his citrus operation (adjacent to our property), as are several score of the "citriculturista" class of investors and landowners in our immediate area.   The standard production of citrus and things such as peppers, corn, and various types of gourds for which our area is rightfully famous has also gone into hyper-activity....with increased salaries and wages, mechanic shortages, drivers, harvesters....lots and lots of rustics and skilled blue-collar people with lots and lots of peso notes with big numbers on them.
     When I return to the Quinta in a few days, it will be interesting to see where the Secretaria de Defensa decided to put the extra 1,500 heavy infantry that have been sent up from Chiapas.   The best word we have at this time is that 900 will replace the 600 who have been called back to Mexico City when all is said and done.  They will all be stationed in and around Cd. Victoria (my area).
     When El Gringo Viejo left two weeks ago or so, the locals were moaning about the fact that the press was reporting that the 600 or so infantry we had in our area were being recalled, and "everybody knew" that none would be sent to replaced them.   Well, there they go again....(as a famous American President once said)....and please be aware that El Gringo Viejo will not pass up a chance to remind each moaner that his / her pessimism was misplaced.

     So, that is the report.  Should other viable news or worthwhile scuttlebutt be made available, we shall post it right away.
El Gringo Viejo