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Cablegate: Nuevo Laredo Emergency Action Committee Meeting 02/27/10

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNL #0056 0581822
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 271821Z FEB 10
FM AMCONSUL NUEVO LAREDO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0038
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO IMMEDIATE
INFO ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS NUEVO LAREDO 000056

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR WHA/MEX, DS, CA/OCS EMBASSY FOR DCM, RSO, MCCA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC CASC PGOV PREL SNAR MX
SUBJECT: NUEVO LAREDO EMERGENCY ACTION COMMITTEE MEETING 02/27/10
REF: 10 NUEVO LAREDO 35

1. SBU - Entire text.

2. SUMMARY: Gulf Cartel DTO attacked two police stations in
Nuevo Laredo evening of February 26. Zetas DTO, apparently
searching for the Gulf perpetrators, appeared armed outside a
barbecue attended by post personnel. Corroborated reports
anticipate a Gulf versus Zetas clash afternoon/evening of February
27. On February 27, PO convened an Emergency Action Committee
(EAC) meeting to review above developments. EAC concurred that
advice should be issued to post personnel via phone cascade, along
with a Warden Message to local Amcits. END SUMMARY.

3. At approximately 2130 hours on February 26, Gulf DTO
attacked two police stations in Nuevo Laredo. Original reports
were that grenades were used, and thumps were audible from at least
two of our residences. Authorities now say that satchel
charge-type IEDs were employed, with no casualties. The attack has
made the Laredo media, and will likely be picked up by wire
services in the U.S. The likely motive is a "calling card" by Gulf
DTO, sending message that they can strike in the Zetas' heartland.

4. At approximately 2230 hours, Zetas DTO personnel wearing
balaclavas deployed in the street outside a barbecue attended by
post personnel at a housing compound. They displayed AK47s
weapons, and ordered everyone away from the street and indoors.
They clearly were looking for something on the street, and left
quickly. Post concludes that they were looking for the Gulf
perpetrators of the bombing of the police stations, and wanted
third parties out of their way. RSO contacted local authorities,
who immediately offered assistance. Post personnel stayed at
compound until it was judged safe to travel. (COMMENT: A GOM
report that PO was present at the time and that gunmen entered the
premises were a garble. PO had left shortly before the incident,
and the gunmen did not enter the property. END COMMENT.)

5. Several reports indicate an impending gun battle between
the two DTOs in Nuevo Laredo within 48 hours, likely the
afternoon/evening of February 27. EAC decided to initiate post's
phone cascade system to advise post personnel to stay off the
streets, and will also send warden message to same effect to
Amcits.

6. EAC discussed advisability of continuing with a visa
outreach event scheduled for afternoon of February 27 at a local
university. PO concluded that turnout would be light, and that the
downside of being seen to cancel a public event for the first time
during recent violence was outweighed by the downside risk to post
personnel and attendees of being on the streets at that time. We
are stressing to the local media that we are not cancelling due to
security situation, but rather rescheduling because we anticipated
a light turnout resulting from that situation.

7. EAC reviewed tripwires and agreed to continue developing
tripwires for intermediate actions short of authorized departure
(see Reftel A).

8. PO will call post personnel who witnessed the Zetas
outside the housing compound to discuss, and will follow up with a
town hall meeting on March 1.
HEFLIN

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