Not So Young But Angry Conservatives Unite

Getting sick of the progressively worse slant and obvious bias of the media? Got booted out of other sites for offending too many liberals? Make this your home. If you SPAM here, you're gone. Trolling? Gone. Insult other posters I agree with. Gone. Get the pic. Private sanctum, private rules. No Fairness Doctrine and PC wussiness tolerated here..... ECCLESIASTES 10:2- The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left.

Monday, August 01, 2005

US Consulate closed in border city of Nuevo Laredo

OK, if this isn't proof that our borders need securing, what is?


U.S. closes consulate in violent border city

Envoy to Mexico wants to assess security after battle erupts in the heart of Nuevo Laredo

By JAMES PINKERTONCopyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

The American ambassador to Mexico ordered the closure of the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo for a week Friday night to assess the security situation in the violent border city, hours after rival drug cartels engaged in a pitched battle with machine guns, grenades and rocket launchers in an upscale neighborhood.
"As part of our security assessment," Ambassador Tony Garza said in Mexico City, "we will be gauging what should be a swift and certain response from the government of Mexico to bring this situation under control."
There was no immediate comment from the Mexican government, which hours earlier had taken over the investigation into the battle, fought Thursday night at a single-story house near a country club, about five blocks from the city's main avenue.
No arrests were reported.
Consular officials in Nuevo Laredo were close enough to the firefight that "they knew it was happening," a U.S. official said in Mexico City. "That's a matter of great concern."
The attackers kidnapped six rival drug gang gunmen holed up in the house, a senior U.S. law enforcement official said in Laredo, across the Rio Grande from Nuevo Laredo.
Mexican officials said a search of the bullet-riddled home turned up a cache of automatic weapons and ammunition and photographs of 14 uniformed Nuevo Laredo police officers — complete with their names and nicknames.
The discoveries heightened concerns that some cartel gunmen have begun a campaign to assassinate city police officers. So far this year, 18 officers have been slain.
The gun battle stunned residents already reeling from more than 100 homicides this year, most of them drug gang-related killings.
The gunfight erupted after a caravan of heavily armed men arrived in sport utility vehicles and opened fire on the residence on Mexicali Street. Hundreds of rounds of gunfire from automatic assault rifles were exchanged.
The ZetasTelevision footage showed spent rounds littering the streets, bullet impacts on walls and nearby vehicles, and casing from a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
The attack was believed to have been carried out by members of the Zetas, said the U.S. law enforcement official in Laredo, who spoke on condition that his name not be used.
The nickname was originally given to a group of commandos who deserted the Mexican army and became enforcers for the Gulf Cartel.
Other, nonmilitary gunmen are believed to have since joined the group, which has been blamed for numerous killings on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border.
The battle for control of Nuevo Laredo erupted after Mexican authorities captured Gulf Cartel leader Osiel Cardenas in Matamoros in 2002.
Soon after, Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, leading gunmen from the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, began a bloody takeover attempt.
''Supposedly the Zetas attacked and overwhelmed Chapo's people," the law enforcement official said. "They were using heavy-caliber weapons — several hundreds rounds were fired — and rocket-propelled weapons."
He said the authorities believe the Zetas took six people from the house and that one was believed to have been severely wounded, leaving a blood trail.
Marcos Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Nuevo Laredo city government, said of the firefight: "We don't know anything about it. This is being investigated by the federal authorities."
The attack came two days after federal authorities allowed 400 city police officers to return to the streets, following a shake-up in which 250 police were fired for failing drug tests or background investigations.
The federal Attorney General's Office in Mexico City said in a statement that three AK-47 assault rifles and more than 1,000 bullets, along with two semi-automatic pistols and 840 rounds of pistol ammunition, were found inside the house.
But perhaps the most ominous discovery in the house, portions of which collapsed during the battle, were large photographs of 14 uniformed city police officers identified by name and nicknames.
Police involvementFederal authorities in June said municipal police on the payroll of drug gangs had kidnapped more than 40 local residents suspected of working for rival drug gangs.
The U.S. official said the residence attacked appeared to be a safe house or barracks for a group of hitmen working for Guzman, a drug gang boss from the state of Sinaloa.
The official said it was too early to determine if the photos of Nuevo Laredo police officers were those who had been killed or if they had been marked for future assassination.
Chronicle Mexico City Bureau chief Dudley Althaus contributed from Mexico City.


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