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  1. Balzafire
    View attachment 15532 CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — A drug cartel has used a car bomb for the first time in Mexico's decades-long fight against traffickers, setting a deadly trap against federal police in a city across the border from Texas, the mayor of Ciudad Juarez said Friday.

    Mayor Jose Reyes said federal police have confirmed to him that a car bomb was used in the attack that killed three people Thursday.
    It was the first time a drug cartel has used a bomb to attack Mexican security forces, marking an escalation in the country's already raging drug war.

    Federal police and paramedics were lured to the scene by a phone call reporting that shots were fired at a major intersection and a municipal police officer lay wounded, Reyes told The Associated Press.
    As the paramedics were working on the wounded man, a parked car exploded, he said.

    Reyes said authorities later determined that the wounded man was not a policeman, although he was wearing a fake uniform. The man was among the three people who died in the attack. The others were a federal police officer and a medical technician.

    Brig. Gen. Eduardo Zarate, the commander of the regional military zone, told reporters that up to 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of explosives might have been used, although investigators were still trying to determine what type.

    He said the bomb might have been detonated remotely with a cell phone, adding that burned batteries connecting to a mobile phone were found at the scene.

    "From what distance? We don't know. But we think it was a distance that allowed (the assailants) to watch the area, waiting for the police to get out of their vehicle," Zarate said.

    The car bomb demonstrates the growing boldness and military sophistication of Mexico's drug traffickers, who have dramatically stepped up attacks against security forces and government officials since President Felipe Calderon deployed thousands of troops and federal police to crush the cartels in their strongholds.

    "We have to change the way we operate," Reyes said. "We've started changing all our protocols, to include bomb situations."
    City and federal authorities said the attack appeared to target only security forces.

    "The threat was directed at the police departments, so it is not a threat
    against the population," he added. "But we have to be very careful with our police departments, their actions and how we protect them, and of course, how we protect the population from the fallout."

    A graffiti message appeared on a wall of a Ciudad Juarez shopping mall Thursday night warning of more car bombs.

    In the northeastern border city of Nuevo Laredo, meanwhile, a series of shootouts Friday prompted the U.S. Consulate to warn American citizens in the city to remain indoors. The consulate said drug traffickers were throwing up roadblocks on at least one major avenue and were carjacking vehicles.

    "We have received credible reports of widespread violence occurring now between narcotics trafficking organizations and the Mexican Army in Nuevo Laredo. We have credible reports of grenades being used," the consulate said in a statement. "We advise all U.S. citizens in Nuevo Laredo to remain indoors until the security situation improves."

    Army officials reached by phone in Nuevo Laredo declined to comment.
    Roadblocks have been another tactic to recently emerge in Mexico's drug war. Gangs in the neighboring northeastern states of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, where Nuevo Laredo is located, have thrown up the blockades to impede soldiers from coming to the aid of colleagues under attack.

    Drug gangs have previously attacked Mexican soldiers and police with grenades and powerful rifles, and there had long been fears they might turn to bombings. Soldiers have seized homemade explosives from gang vehicles after gunbattles, and assailants have stolen explosive material from transport vehicles.

    Federal police said the attack was in retaliation for the arrest of a top leader of the La Linea drug gang, Jesus Acosta Guerrero, earlier in the day.

    Police said Acosta Guerrero, 35, was the "operations leader" of La Linea, which works for the Juarez drug cartel. He was responsible for at least 25 killings, mainly of rival gang members, and also ordered attacks on police, a federal police statement said.

    The Juarez cartel appeared to claim credit for the attack in the graffiti message, which accused federal police of supporting the rival Sinaloa cartel, led by Mexico's most-wanted kingpin, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
    "What happened ... is going to keep happening against all the authorities that keep supporting 'El Chapo,'" the message read. "We have more car bombs."

    Calderon's government has long faced allegations that his government does not pursue the Sinaloa cartel as aggressively as other gangs, accusations he vehemently denies.

    What appeared to be the charred bottom half of the explosives-rigged car still lay at the scene of the attack Friday. The debris from the blast was spread out over a 300-yard (300-meter) radius. The explosion also blew out the windows of a nearby home and blackened the corner of the building nearest to the crash.

    "Thank God we weren't home," said a woman who lives in the damaged house. She refused to give her name, citing safety concerns, before driving away from the scene Thursday.

    Although the car bomb was a new tactic, it was far from the deadliest attack on Mexico's security forces. Last month, a carefully planned ambush killed 12 federal police officers in the western state of Michoacan.
    And a week before July 4 local and state elections, suspected cartel members ambushed and killed the leading candidate for governor of Tamaulipas. Calderon called the assassination — which followed a series of attacks and threats against candidates throughout the campaign — evidence that drug cartels were trying to control Mexican politics through intimidation.

    On Wednesday, gunmen killed the nephew of the governor-elect of Chihuahua, the state where Ciudad Juarez is located, although it was unclear who was behind the attack. Mario Medina, nephew of Cesar Duarte, was shot in the back as he tried to escape from would-be kidnappers in the state capital, also named Chihuahua.

    Earlier Friday, federal Attorney General Arturo Chavez said he could not confirm if the latest attack involved a car bomb and said investigators were running forensic tests to determine if the assailants packed the car with explosive material or launched grenades.

    Chavez said the killings did not qualify as terrorism.

    "We have no evidence anywhere in the country of narco-terrorism," he said.

    The attorney general says at least 24,800 people have been killed in drug-gang violence since Calderon launched his military-led offensive in 2006.
    Ciudad Juarez has become one of the most dangerous cities in the world, with more than 4,000 people killed since the beginning of 2009. Reyes said at least 14 police officers have been killed in the city and surrounding areas in recent weeks.

    Chavez reiterated the government's argument that violence has surged in large part because cartels are splintered and on the defensive.

    "The actions of the government are forcing criminals to modify their strategies," he said. "The strongest keep what they have, while the defeated are looking for new turf, and this means invading territories that belonged to someone else. This provokes confrontations and internal wars."

    But Mexico's drug cartels have extended their reach into other criminal activities. On Friday, federal police announced that five men who allegedly worked for the Zetas drug gang had been breaking into pipelines operated by the state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos company to steal large quantities of fuel. The five men were detained at a pipeline in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.



  1. Balzafire
    ^^^Oh, and that's not all...

    Mexican drug cartels' newest weapon: Cold War-era grenades made in U.S.

    [imgl=white]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=15539&stc=1&d=1279340753[/imgl]MEXICO CITY -- Grenades made in the United States and sent to Central America during the Cold War have resurfaced as terrifying new weapons in almost weekly attacks by Mexican drug cartels.

    Sent a generation ago to battle communist revolutionaries in the jungles of Central America, U.S. grenades are being diverted from dusty old armories and sold to criminal mafias, who are using them to destabilize the Mexican government and terrorize civilians, according to U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials.

    The redeployment of U.S.-made grenades by Mexican drug lords underscores the increasingly intertwined nature of the conflict, as President Felipe Calderón sends his soldiers out to confront gangs armed with a deadly combination of brand-new military-style assault rifles purchased in the United States and munitions left over from the Cold War.

    Grenades have killed a relatively small number of the 25,000 people who have died since Calderón launched his U.S.-backed offensive against the cartels. But the grenades pack a far greater psychological punch than the ubiquitous AK-47s and AR-15 rifles -- they can overwhelm and intimidate outgunned soldiers and police while reminding ordinary Mexicans that the country is literally at war.

    There have been more than 72 grenade attacks in Mexico in the last year, including spectacular assaults on police convoys and public officials. Mexican forces have seized more than 5,800 live grenades since 2007, a small fraction of a vast armory maintained by the drug cartels, officials said.

    According to the Mexican attorney general's office, there have been 101 grenade attacks against government buildings in the past 3 1/2 years, information now made public for the first time.

    To fight back, U.S. experts in grenades and other explosives are now working side by side with Mexican counterparts. On Thursday, assailants detonated a car bomb in downtown Ciudad Juarez, killing two federal police officers and an emergency medical technician and wounding seven.

    The majority of grenades have been traced back to El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, according to investigations by agents at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and their Mexican counterparts. ATF has also found that almost 90 percent of the grenades confiscated and traced in Mexico are more than 20 years old.

    The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush sent 300,000 hand grenades to friendly regimes in Central America to fight leftist insurgents in the civil wars of the 1980s and early 1990s, according to declassified military data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Federation of American Scientists.

    Not all grenades found in Mexico are American-made. Many are of Asian or Soviet and Eastern European manufacture, ATF officials said, probably given to leftist insurgents by Cuba and Nicaragua's Sandinistas.

    One of the most common hand grenades found in Mexico is the M67, the workhorse explosive manufactured in the United States for American soldiers and for sale or transfer to foreign militaries. Some 266,000 M67 grenades went to El Salvador alone between 1980 and 1993, during the civil war there.

    Now selling for $100 to $500 apiece on the black market, grenades have exploded in practically every region of Mexico in recent years.

    By Nick Miroff and William Booth
    Saturday, July 17, 2010
  2. Balzafire
    Interesting updates:

    Experts: Car bomb in Juárez mimics Middle East terrorist tactics


    EL PASO -- The car bombing in Juárez on Thursday in which three people were killed signifies an escalation of brutality and sophistication in the city's 2-year-old drug war, officials said.

    Juárez officials on Friday confirmed a car bomb with C-4 plastic explosives was detonated from a remote location.

    Local experts said the Juárez and Sinaloa drug cartels apparently have adopted terrorists' tactics that use suicide bombers and car bombs to kill foes or to make a point.

    "It certainly seems like they've taken a page out of the Middle East," said Richard Schwein, the former FBI special agent in charge of the El Paso office.

    "The cartels read the news and they hear about what is happening in the Middle East with the use of car bombs and suicide bombers. I don't think they will ever use suicide bombers here, but car bombs are easy to make and to use."

    This is the first time a car bomb has been used in the Juárez drug war, which has claimed the lives of nearly 5,800 people since in began in 2008.
    Experts agree that the use of a car bomb with a sophisticated detonation system and C-4 is a new tactic, one that requires planning and deliberation.

    "It is what it is," Schwein said.
    C-4 is an explosive that is used by military and in demolition and mining. To set it off, a blasting cap or a detonator has to be inserted into the explosive and then an electrical charge is sent to start the explosion, according to several websites.

    According to Juárez officials, officers responded to a call that a police officer had been killed. As an officer and a paramedic approached the car, a bomb exploded. The officer and the paramedic were killed. The third man killed is believed to have been the decoy.

    El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles said the use of a car bomb is of major concern, and something law-enforcement officials on this side of the Rio Grande should pay attention to.

    "As the cartels change their tactics over there, we need to be aware of their methods because if they ever wanted to assassinate someone over here, they may use those same tactics," he said.

    Wiles said a greater concern is that car bombs tend to injure innocent victims.

    "The car bombs damage an area, not just a targeted person," he said. "They can be powerful and can do some damage.

    While the use of car bombs and bombs in El Paso and Juárez is rare, Thursday's attack was not the first time a bomb was used to target law enforcement.

    Former El Paso police Chief Carlos Leon said that in the mid-1970s, the East Valley police substation on San Paulo Drive was bombed. "It certainly didn't injure anyone or kill anyone," Leon said. "But the building's foundation was cracked, and the substation was the target." Leon said that it was an isolated case and that no other incidents occurred after that.

    By Ramon Bracamontes \ El Paso Times
    Posted: 07/17/2010 12:00:00 AM MDT
  3. nicole61
    It will affect the common people and financial loss for government.
  4. Wanderer
    This whole direction is alarming. It's taking things to the next level. SWIM can only see things getting worse before they get better in this situation.

    Hopefully cooler heads will ultimately prevail.
  5. Balzafire
    Coming to a border town near you

    More on this story....

    Tovex Car Bomb Explosive Recovered in Chihuahua

    Armed clashes between a detachment of Mexican Army soldiers and a band of up to 60 gunmen resulted in the seizure of approximately 52 pounds of Tovex and 2 pounds of Detagel high explosives and a spool of detonation cord in the rugged highlands of the Sierra Madre in the state of Chihuahua.

    Two separate clashes in an area known as “La Simona” in the municipality of Ciudad Madera occurred this Wednesday and Thursday (July 21-22) in the mountainous border area dividing the states of Chihuahua and Sonora.

    According to a Sedena (defense ministry) press release, a detachment of 100 soldiers attacked an organized criminal group in their base of operations in La Simona. The first attack by the Army, around 1:00 PM Wednesday, led to the deaths of 8 of the gunmen and the capture of 6 more men.

    It was during this attack that the explosives were seized. In addition, several assault weapons, rifles and side arms, communications equipment, 10 vehicles and 2 ATV’s, and 80 pounds of marijuana were also secured.

    The second clash occurred on Thursday afternoon when gunmen attempted an ambush against the military but were repelled with the death of one more member of the criminal band.

    No casualties were reported by the military and the allegiance of the criminal band was not announced. This area of Chihuahua where the Tovex explosive was seized is known to be a stronghold and marijuana growing area of the Juarez cartel.

    La Linea, a group of enforcers and hitmen belonging to the Juarez cartel, claimed responsibility for the car bomb blast that killed 3 policemen and 1 civilian in Ciudad Juarez last week. Tovex is the same explosive used in that attack.

    The deadly car bomb in Juarez is thought to have been composed of 10 kilos (22 lb) of Tovex. La Linea has threatened an attack using 100 kilos of Tovex if federal policemen connected to the rival Sinaloa cartel are not arrested within a 15 day deadline.

    Narco message in Chihuahua threatens to kill innocent civilians

    A Narco banner placed in the city of Chihuahua on Wednesday, July 21, threatened Chihuahua state governor Jose Reyes Baeza and his Director of Public Security Gustavo Zabre with the death of innocent civilians unless their demand for the dismissal of Fernando Ornelas, the director of the Center for Police Intelligence.

    The banner was signed by the Sinaloa Cartel

    This is the first time in 30 months of war between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels for control of Chihuahua, and Ciudad Juarez in particular, that a group threatens to kill innocent civilians.

    Many innocent people have already been killed in Chihuahua since the beginning of the drug war in late 2007 although never directly targeted for terrorist attacks until now.

    The threats by the Juarez cartel to reply with larger car bombs if their demands are not met, although not directly threatening innocent civilians, have the capability to inflict massive civilian casualties.

    Juarez has suffered 6000 dead and the rest of Chihuahua has counted 3000 deaths since the start of the drug war in late 2007.

    State Police officials declined to comment further on the banner and said that they, as well as municipal and federal police, will strengthen security protocols to prevent further attacks by members of organized criminal gangs.

    Borderland Reporter Gerardo
    Friday, July 23, 2010
  6. Wanderer
    This all has the potential to make 9/11/2001 look like a walk in the park. The news SWIM keeps reading, this is escalating rapidly and getting out of control. Ultimately, the US citizens will be the ones who pay the price, either with their lives or the further erosion of civil liberties.

    This is a no-win situation. It requires immediate policy reform and positive action to solve. Unfortunately, the only solution the politicians and Law Enforcement see is further escalating the violence.
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