Bill Conroy's Comments
The truth is that the violence in Nuevo Laredo is a direct byproduct of narco-capitalism. Sure, if you happen to be on the wrong street corner when a gunfight breaks out, you are in danger, just like you would be in any inner city in the states when rival gangs pull out their pieces and start shooting at each other.
In addition, just like in any big city in the states, you have to be careful of the company you keep.
Narcotics is the underlying reason (for the violence) but not for those caught in the middle, explains one federal law enforcer who works the border near Nuevo Laredo. I am sure some of the victims were just too friendly with bad people and were taken somewhere for a good time, and it got out of hand, and they were killed. But it seems the majority of them were indeed linked to narcotics, since guns, paraphernalia were found. Its too much of a coincidence that they disappear without a trace and then are later found in deep-concreted holes in the back of narcos houses. Sad but true.
The showdown is supposedly between the armed soldiers of two Mexican narco-traffickers who are waging a battle to gain control of the lucrative trade route that runs from Nuevo Laredo, across the border into Laredo, and north along Interstate Highway 35 to San Antonio, then Dallas from where it spokes out into the rest of the United States.
The two rival drug lords at the center of the turf war are allegedly Osiel Cardenas Guillen and Joaquin El Chapo Guzman.
Cardenas, who has been in jail on drug charges in Mexico since 2003, reportedly oversees his narco-trafficking organization from prison. His group, often referred to in the mainstream press as the Gulf cartel, has controlled the Nuevo Laredo market for years.
Cardenas primary enforcers are the Zetas, a group composed of former elite Mexican military commandos who deserted their posts to take up arms as mercenaries in the narco-market.
However, in recent years, Guzman has made inroads into the Nuevo Laredo market by waging a bloody street war against the Cardenas organization and the Zetas.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Antonio has done it again. In what can only be seen as an effort to tie off all the loose ends in the cover-up in the House of Death mass murder case, U.S. federal prosecutors have decided not to pursue Mexican state judicial police comandante Miguel Loya Gallegos.
So we all know that no matter how many zombies are put out of their misery, there are always more of them in the shadows coming up out of the ground.
Well, it seems U.S. State Department officials have lifted their Mexico travel-warning script right out those zombie-movie plots.
On Tuesday, only a few days after a giant march in Mexico City in support of popular presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador -- who is not a favorite son of the Bush administration -- the U.S. State Department reissued a travel warning for the Mexico border region. The warning cites the continuing threat of violence against U.S. citizens due to violent narco-traffickers.
It is only days before Halloween, and the roadway is packed with afternoon rush-hour traffic. Somewhere in the course of his trip to the shopping center, Lloyd did something to annoy Ryan Stowers, a 20-year-old who had only recently enlisted in the Navy. Stowers, who is from Redding, Calif., is driving a Chevy Camaro.
Maybe Lloyd cut in front of Stowers when he was switching lanes, maybe Lloyd came up to close to Stowers' bumper at some point, or maybe Stowers mistakenly blamed Lloyd for something another driver did. Whatever set Stowers off that day is not clear, but what he did next set in motion a chain of events that ultimately cost him his life.
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in San Antonio, Texas, announced earlier this week that his office cut a plea bargain with Heriberto Santillan-Tabares, who U.S. prosecutors claim is a top lieutenant in Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Juárez drug organization.
Santillan had been charged with cocaine and marijuana smuggling along with five counts of murder. His case was slated to go to trial this May in federal district court in San Antonio.
The plea deal caps more than a year-long effort by federal prosecutors and ICE officials to keep a lid on the U.S. governments complicity in multiple murders in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez.
The memo, issued on March 28 by a high-ranking official with DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), essentially orders supervisors in the field to sanitize terrorism-related case files maintained in a major law-enforcement computer system called TECS. All told, TECS contains about 12,000 terrorism-related records, of which about 4,000 have been generated by ICE, according to the memo.
ICE supervisors, per the memos instructions, are to "modify or remove all ICE-generated TECS records designated as terrorist.
In other words, the memo instructs ICE supervisors to ensure that if they come across a goose in the game of find-the-terrorist, then they should call it a duck.
As a result, based on the memos instructions, existing records originated by ICE and deemed to be terror-related are to be purged from the TECS computer system by reclassifying them to make them appear to be unrelated to terrorism. The deadline for completing this 4,000-record sanitizing task is April 11, two weeks from the issue date of the memo.
The letter exposed federal agents complicity in multiple murders in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez. The homicides were tied to an investigation into Heriberto Santillan-Tabares, who U.S. prosecutors claim is a top lieutenant in Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Juárez drug organization.
Santillan has been charged with cocaine and marijuana smuggling along with five counts of murder. His case is currently pending in federal district court in San Antonio, Texas, and is slated for trial in May.
The blowback came at him through a legal case he has pending against DEA. In 2002, Gonzalez filed a discrimination lawsuit against the agency in federal court in Miami. The case, which is still pending, stems from a stash of cocaine that came up missing after a 1998 raid of a house in suburban Miami.
Prior surveillance of the house indicated there should have been about 32 kilograms of cocaine on the premises, but the total amount accounted for after the search fell 10 kilos short of that mark.
Gonzalez suspected foul play. He says the same Miami-Dade Police team involved in the raid was responsible for compromising three prior drug cases.
Following is the list of government agencies who dont want you to know this secret, and which have to date, to one degree or another, contributed to keeping it covered up: The U.S. Attorneys Office in San Antonio, the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and at least two agencies charged with investigating corruption in federal law enforcement -- the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the Justice Departments Office of Inspector General.
But before revealing the details of the secret, some background is in order. Last month, Narco News reported the following:
A startling claim has surfaced in a document filed in federal court by a former DEA supervisor. The claim raises serious questions about a U.S. Attorneys handling of evidence in the case of accused murderer and drug-trafficker Heriberto Santillan-Tabares.