Saturday, December 3, 2011

Escalation of Cross-Border Violence by Mexican Drug Cartels

While I was poking around the Small Wars Journal, I came across this posting about a recent cross-border murder that indicated a fairly disciplined attack.
Given that the truck cab was sprayed with bullets it can be assumed that some of Los Zetas personnel carried semi-automatic rifles. No mention of individual body armor, vehicular armor, or actual weapons carried has been disclosed. All captured Zetas had military style (short) haircuts with no tattoos evident in the booking photos so unit discipline is noted. US law enforcement presence was significant when the Los Zetas offensive action took place and was augmented with dozens of responding officers. Under other circumstances, the three vehicle (SUV) Los Zetas commando’ could have potentially overwhelmed one or two responding police units if a ‘controlled delivery’ law enforcement operation had not been taking place.
The article also mentions the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and that two of the weapons used by the murderers were AK style rifles provided to the cartel by the ATF. I would also note that a third weapon used was an SKS, that also was provided by the ATF.

This article re-published at the Borderland Beat indicates that the violence along the border has decreased. At first blush, this may seem like positive news. However, what it probably indicates is that certain of the cartels have won their fight for the border regions, and the fighting is transferring to the remaining contested areas within Mexico.

Eventually the cartels, or those that remain, will turn their attention to directly controlling drug sales in the U.S., resulting in increased armed conflict with American gangs.

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