Originally Posted By TrashHeap:
Originally Posted By lippo:
They already have them in Mexico?
How long before it spills over into Texas? Anyone know if this story is true???
Drug dealers have them, will they use them? Find out here
Outgunned cops patrol only part of border city
Web Posted: 07/31/2005 12:00 AM CDT
Express-News Staff Writer
NUEVO LAREDO — When masked gunmen attacked a house in the upscale Campestre neighborhood Thursday night, they fired rocket-propelled grenades and semi-automatic rifles.
When about 80 members of the city's brand new police force reported for duty last week, there weren't enough guns to go around. Officers had to share their weapons, turning their guns in after their shifts.
While rival drug lords fire with impunity — wherever it strikes their fancy it seems — the new police force is restricted for the time being to the city's central district.
"We're waiting for more personnel and armaments," said Jesus Muro Garcia, 29, commander of the municipal plaza substation. "Their weapons are a lot more powerful than anything we have."
Welcome to the streets of this Mexican border city, where an out-of-control turf war among drug cartels has left more than 100 dead this year, including almost a dozen police officers. And last month, the city's new police chief was killed six hours after assuming office. A new police chief, Omar Pimentel Zúñiga, since has been appointed.
The escalating violence apparently has proved too unsettling for U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza, who Friday, citing the "unusually advanced weaponry" used in the Thursday night attack, announced he was shutting the consulate for at least a week.
Since earlier this year, the State Department had issued a travel advisory warning Americans to take caution when traveling to the border region, specifically in Nuevo Laredo.
The advisory was extended recently.
By most accounts, the recent attack was particularly brazen. According to media reports, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition were fired, turning quiet Mexicali Street in the tony Campestre neighborhood into a virtual war zone.
Using rocket-propelled grenades, assailants tore three big holes through the blue outer wall of a once-charming house. Windows a full block away were shattered. A 15-minute shootout ensued between those inside the house and the attackers.
No one was believed killed in the battle, and no one has been arrested, though Muro said several people at the home may have been kidnapped. He did not know who lived there.
Rosa Estela Manzanales, 56, was sitting in her courtyard two doors down when the first of several explosions shattered the calm of a humid late July night.
"It was worse than a war," she said of the 8 p.m. attack.
"I thought it was only in movies, but right here," she said, pointing around her, "with our grandchildren and everything. I don't know how we are still alive."
She and 11 members of her family — children and grandchildren — dove for the concrete floor of their humble home that sits amid opulent houses. She and her family remained, trembling but quiet, until the last weapon had gone silent.
The police arrived afterward, she said, to mop up the mess.
Manzanales said she knew the family in the blue house only casually. They were recent arrivals to the neighborhood, renters she believed, who seemed pleasant and well adjusted.
She has come to accept that the violence now has spread to her quiet Mexicali Street, which was wilderness when her family settled it many decades ago. But things are different now.
"You go out, and you don't come back," she said.
In all, 460 city police officers have been cleared to return to work six weeks after 700 of them were yanked off the street in a massive anti-corruption probe.
The returning officers have cleared a host of evaluations, including polygraph and drug tests.
The entire force was tainted by indications that officers have been rewarded by or intimidated into working for drug cartels fighting for control of smuggling routes into South Texas.
But only those whose weapons have been delivered are back on patrol, Muro said. Others mill about the downtown substation in their pressed black and white new uniforms, filled with a restless nervousness.
"We don't have the arms necessary to do this job," said a five-year-patrol officer who gave his name only as Carlos. "You see what they have — grenades, sophisticated arms."
At least four of Carlos' colleagues from the substation have been killed in the past year. Two were shot to death in broad daylight five blocks from the police station.
Officials have said many city cops work as lookouts for the Gulf Cartel, which is alleged to control the lucrative drug smuggling routes into South Texas.
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman of the Sinaloa Cartel and his allies are vying for the turf, which is believed to be part of the reason for the police deaths.
Muro said his family and friends all beg him to "do something else."
"A lot of times I think about leaving," he said.
But in the end, he notes, "I like the work."
As originally published, this story contained an error. = (Because of an editing error, a story on Sunday about violence in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, misstated the duration of the U.S. State Department's travel advisory. The travel warning was extended last week. Also, the story mentioned the June killing of the city's police chief without clarifying that a new chief since has been appointed.)
may I be the first to say, Their GOV have weapons. this is just another liberal bull session.
Why did you have to quote the whole fucking thing?