The drug conflict in Mexico has been growing for years into a full-scale guerilla war, and now it has spilled into Texas. There are contradictory reports that the Los Zetas drug gang has taken over at least two ranches near Laredo, Texas, forcing law enforcement to ask for federal intervention. The drug lords have become increasingly brutal and effective, have ties to foreign terrorist groups and have even set off a car bomb. As the U.S. fights two campaigns overseas, a lack of border security is permitting an insurgency south of the border to threaten us at home.
On July 16, the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Lavedo in Mexico issued a warning that there were “credible reports of widespread violence occurring now between narcotics trafficking organizations and the Mexican army in Nuevo Lavedo.” The Zetas, which have hired former military personnel including special forces, blocked off roads and threw grenades. All Americans in the area were told to stay inside.
The area has become a battlefield between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas. The intense fighting forced up to 90 businesses to close their doors out of fear for their safety. Around the same time, eight drug gang members died in a firefight between 60 criminals and 100 soldiers in the state of Chihuahua which “virtually shut down” a border city.
Hordes of blogs then began reporting that two ranches near Laredo, Texas had been seized. Examiner.com said that two anonymous sources at the Laredo Police Department confirmed the story and said a news blackout was being imposed. Last May, the FBI warned that the Los Zetas had obtained a ranch in Texas to train its operatives in attacking its U.S.-based rivals. However, the Loredo Police Department is denying the story.
This follows a dramatic escalation in the drug war when drug cartels used a car bomb for the first time in Ciudad Juarez. The bomb was so sophisticated that it was compared to the professionalism of Hezbollah. The attack was carried out by shooting a police officer and then alerting the authorities so that paramedics and law enforcement would arrive. The device was then detonated, killing four people.
Rep. Sue Myrick issued a prescient warning shortly before the attack. She called on the Department of Homeland Security to form a task force to investigate Hezbollah’s presence in Mexico after one of the terrorist group’s cells in Tijuana was broken up.
“[A] high-ranking Mexican Army officer, who asked not to be named for security reasons, states they believe Hezbollah may be training the Mexican drug cartels’ enforcers in the art of bomb making. This might lead to Israel-like car bombings of Mexican/USA border personnel or National Guard units in the border regions,” she wrote.
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