Search

 

Cablegate: Border Violence Spreads to Nuevo Leon

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMC #0043/01 0571911
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261911Z FEB 10
FM AMCONSUL MONTERREY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0045
INFO ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM
RUCNFB/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO

251151
2010-02-26 19:11:00
10MONTERREY43
Consulate Monterrey
CONFIDENTIAL
10MATAMOROS33|10MATAMOROS37|10MONTERREY41|10NUEVOLAREDO31|10NUEVOLAREDO33
VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMC #0043/01 0571911
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261911Z FEB 10
FM AMCONSUL MONTERREY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0045
INFO ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM
RUCNFB/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO


C O N F I D E N T I A L MONTERREY 000043

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/26
TAGS: ASEC KCRM SNAR CASC PGOV MX
SUBJECT: BORDER VIOLENCE SPREADS TO NUEVO LEON

REF: NUEVO LAREDO 31; NUEVO LAREDO 33; MONTERREY 41; MATAMOROS 37
MATAMOROS 33

CLASSIFIED BY: Bruce Williamson, Consul General; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) Summary: Organized gang violence has spread into Nuevo
Leon from neighboring border areas, with drug gangs attacking
several eastern municipalities in the state. At least three gang
members died during a battle with army soldiers in one city and, in
another, gangsters attacked a local police station, killing two
officers. State and military forces have assumed control of
security in several towns near the border with Tamaulipas. Gang
banners have appeared in Monterrey, including one near the
Governor's offices, and the city has undergone a record wave of SUV
thefts, presumably to supply cartel forces fighting along the
border. If the fighting continues, Zeta-dominated Monterrey could
see a sharp uptick in cartel related violence. Post is concerned
that muted coverage by a leading local newspaper is an indication
that the organization has caved in to gang influence. Local
military sources state that the continued tensions between the Gulf
Cartel and the Zetas, will make the situation unstable - and
subject to sudden eruptions of violence - for the foreseeable
future. End summary.

On-Going Border Violence Impacts Nuevo Leon

-------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) In a spillover from battles between the Gulf Cartel, the
Zeta Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) and, at times, the
military, occurring along the border, (refs A, B, C, and D), drug
gangs have gone on the offensive in some parts of Nuevo Leon. On
February 23, according to media reports, armed groups besieged the
Nuevo Leon municipalities of Bravo, Cerralvo and China, ordering
residents to take cover and shutting down local businesses.
Gangsters kidnapped at least 12 people in the towns, including two
children from the family of a local business owner.

3. (SBU) On the afternoon of February 24, three drug cartel
members died during a 30 minute firefight with soldiers outside of
a restaurant in the Nuevo Leon town of Las Ramones. Troops
captured two other cartel members. Around 7:00 p.m. that day,
assailants killed at least two China police officers and injured
one during an attack on police headquarters, next door to the
town's city hall. Media reported that the city's police force
deserted and the local state attorney general's representative
remained in his residence due to fears for his safety. A call by
police officials for military or state reinforcements went unheeded
for almost five hours. Post has also heard reports of further
violence between the Gulf Cartel, Zetas and the military west of
Monterrey in Saltillo, Coahuila and to the southeast in
Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon.

4. (SBU) In the aftermath, businesses shut down and residents
remained hidden in their homes. Nuevo Leon Attorney General
Alejandro Garza y Garza announced that state and military forces
would take control of security in China and other towns near the
border with Tamaulipas, including General Bravo and Cerralvo, both
of which have essentially shut down in the face of the ongoing
narco-threat. A Laredo, Texas business delegation cancelled a
planned trip to Monterrey, citing concerns over security. (This is
only the latest U.S. group to defer travel plans to the state due
to security concerns. On February 17, a group of 100 U.S. students
called off a trip to participate in the International Model United
Nations Conference at the American School Foundation in Monterrey
(AFSM) for the same reasons.)

Zetas in Monterrey

------------------
5. (SBU) February 23, police discovered five "narcobanners" in
Monterrey and its surrounding cities, including one hung on a
statue 100 meters from the state government seat. The banners,
claiming the Zetas were as widespread as McDonalds or cell phone
signals, bore the Zeta emblem and taunted unnamed Zeta rivals. It
was the second display of such banners found in the Monterrey area
this month.

6. (SBU) On the next day, police arrested four Zetas shopping for
clothes in the affluent Monterrey suburb of San Pedro, who were
apparently fleeing the ongoing violence in Reynosa. Three
reportedly had outstanding warrants in the U.S. Two other
individuals accompanying the Zetas successfully evaded police.

7. (SBU) By mid-day on February 24, Monterrey had experienced a
record 18 carjackings and robberies in a period of only around 12
hours. Among the high profile attacks, criminals stole a car with
a child in the backseat, and lifted the Chevrolet Suburban of the
local soccer team's star goalkeeper. The vast majority of those
vehicles targeted for theft were SUVs, with 10 Chevrolet Tahoes
topping the list.

Comment

-------

8. (C) Cosmopolitan Monterrey, situated astride a key northern
transit route, is of significant strategic value to organized crime
and the violence hitting rural Nuevo Leon may soon affect the
metropolitan area, long considered Zeta territory, as the Gulf
Cartel and its allies seek to inflict damage on the Zetas. The
city is a safe-haven, source of revenue (mainly from extortion),
and supply center for the Zetas. Post suspects the recent wave of
car thefts in the city is in response to demands by Zeta leaders
for vehicles to support their battles along the northern border.

9. (C) Zeta influence here is longstanding and widespread
throughout local and state government. Gang members hung the
recently discovered narcobanners in at least one area, near the
Palacio del Gobierno, under state police observation. RSO sources
indicated that state police officers' calls for backup went
unheeded. Post has long connected former Nuevo Leon Director
General of State Investigation Hector Santos (now serving in the
same post in Coahuila) with the Zetas, and many other local and
state police and government officials have ties to organized crime.
It is telling that, in an advance copy Post obtained of a February
27 El Milenio editorial, the newspaper lamented that corruption and
indifference have hobbled state and municipal security forces and
termed Nuevo Leon's Secretary of Security, Carlos Jauregui, as
"pathetic and ineffective." The editorial said state security
forces could not control the current situation and would therefore
be unable to contain rising levels of violence, even with military
assistance. The head of one prominent local industrial association
told Consul General on February 26 that the business community
would not stand for any further deterioration in the security
environment.

10. (C) Until February 26, the El Norte newspaper, long considered
an outspoken voice against organized crime, had been surprisingly
muted in its coverage of the recent border violence, characterizing
residents fears' as "psychosis" resulting from living under
constant narco-threats. In contrast to its past policies, the
newspaper gave the narcobanners full play, complete with a large,
and legible, photo of the banners' defiant, pro-Zeta message. The
newspaper's owners relocated to Texas in 2008 due to ongoing
threats from organized crime, and Post worries that pressure on the
newspaper has only increased given the recent instability at the
border. Competing El Milenio has provided far more thorough coverage, but even it has taken a measured approach. The newspaper
has avoided depicting terming the conflict as between cartels,
instead casting the military in the main adversarial role.

11. (C) Monterrey is the home to the Fourth military region, which
oversees army operations in Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, and
Tamaulipas, and local military sources tell us that they think the
violence will eventually subside. However, they caution that the
continued tensions between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, will make
the situation unstable - and subject to sudden eruptions of
violence - for the foreseeable future.

WILLIAMSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO: