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Viewing cable 10MONTERREY43, BORDER VIOLENCE SPREADS TO NUEVO LEON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MONTERREY43 2010-02-26 19:07 2011-02-10 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Consulate Monterrey
Appears in these articles:
http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2011/02/10/index.php?section=politica&article=006n1pol
VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMC #0043/01 0571911
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261911Z FEB 10
FM AMCONSUL MONTERREY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0045
INFO ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM
RUCNFB/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO
251151
2010-02-26 19:11:00
10MONTERREY43
Consulate Monterrey
CONFIDENTIAL
10MATAMOROS33|10MATAMOROS37|10MONTERREY41|10NUEVOLAREDO31|10NUEVOLAREDO33
VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMC #0043/01 0571911
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261911Z FEB 10
FM AMCONSUL MONTERREY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0045
INFO ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM
RUCNFB/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO


C O N F I D E N T I A L MONTERREY 000043 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/26 
TAGS: ASEC KCRM SNAR CASC PGOV MX
SUBJECT: BORDER VIOLENCE SPREADS TO NUEVO LEON 
 
REF: NUEVO LAREDO 31; NUEVO LAREDO 33; MONTERREY 41; MATAMOROS 37 
MATAMOROS 33 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Bruce Williamson, Consul General; REASON: 1.4(B), (D) 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  Organized gang violence has spread into Nuevo 
Leon from neighboring border areas, with drug gangs attacking 
several eastern municipalities in the state.  At least three gang 
members died during a battle with army soldiers in one city and, in 
another, gangsters attacked a local police station, killing two 
officers.  State and military forces have assumed control of 
security in several towns near the border with Tamaulipas.  Gang 
banners have appeared in Monterrey, including one near the 
Governor's offices, and the city has undergone a record wave of SUV 
thefts, presumably to supply cartel forces fighting along the 
border.  If the fighting continues, Zeta-dominated Monterrey could 
see a sharp uptick in cartel related violence.  Post is concerned 
that muted coverage by a leading local newspaper is an indication 
that the organization has caved in to gang influence.  Local 
military sources state that the continued tensions between the Gulf 
Cartel and the Zetas, will make the situation unstable - and 
subject to sudden eruptions of violence - for the foreseeable 
future.  End summary. 
 
 
 
On-Going Border Violence Impacts Nuevo Leon 
 
------------------------------------------- 
 
 
 
2.  (SBU) In a spillover from battles between the Gulf Cartel, the 
Zeta Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) and, at times, the 
military, occurring along the border, (refs A, B, C, and D), drug 
gangs have gone on the offensive in some parts of Nuevo Leon.  On 
February 23, according to media reports, armed groups besieged the 
Nuevo Leon municipalities of Bravo, Cerralvo and China, ordering 
residents to take cover and shutting down local businesses. 
Gangsters kidnapped at least 12 people in the towns, including two 
children from the family of a local business owner. 
 
 
 
3.  (SBU) On the afternoon of February 24, three drug cartel 
members died during a 30 minute firefight with soldiers outside of 
a restaurant in the Nuevo Leon town of Las Ramones.  Troops 
captured two other cartel members.  Around 7:00 p.m. that day, 
assailants killed at least two China police officers and injured 
one during an attack on police headquarters, next door to the 
town's city hall.  Media reported that the city's police force 
deserted and the local state attorney general's representative 
remained in his residence due to fears for his safety.  A call by 
police officials for military or state reinforcements went unheeded 
for almost five hours.  Post has also heard reports of further 
violence between the Gulf Cartel, Zetas and the military west of 
Monterrey in Saltillo, Coahuila and to the southeast in 
Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon. 
 
 
 
4.  (SBU) In the aftermath, businesses shut down and residents 
remained hidden in their homes.  Nuevo Leon Attorney General 
Alejandro Garza y Garza announced that state and military forces 
would take control of security in China and other towns near the 
border with Tamaulipas, including General Bravo and Cerralvo, both 
of which have essentially shut down in the face of the ongoing 
narco-threat.  A Laredo, Texas business delegation cancelled a 
planned trip to Monterrey, citing concerns over security.  (This is 
only the latest U.S. group to defer travel plans to the state due 
to security concerns.  On February 17, a group of 100 U.S. students 
called off a trip to participate in the International Model United 
Nations Conference at the American School Foundation in Monterrey 
(AFSM) for the same reasons.) 
 
 
 
Zetas in Monterrey 
 
------------------ 
5.  (SBU) February 23, police discovered five "narcobanners" in 
Monterrey and its surrounding cities, including one hung on a 
statue 100 meters from the state government seat.  The banners, 
claiming the Zetas were as widespread as McDonalds or cell phone 
signals, bore the Zeta emblem and taunted unnamed Zeta rivals.  It 
was the second display of such banners found in the Monterrey area 
this month. 
 
 
 
6.  (SBU) On the next day, police arrested four Zetas shopping for 
clothes in the affluent Monterrey suburb of San Pedro, who were 
apparently fleeing the ongoing violence in Reynosa.  Three 
reportedly had outstanding warrants in the U.S.  Two other 
individuals accompanying the Zetas successfully evaded police. 
 
 
 
7.  (SBU) By mid-day on February 24, Monterrey had experienced a 
record 18 carjackings and robberies in a period of only around 12 
hours.  Among the high profile attacks, criminals stole a car with 
a child in the backseat, and lifted the Chevrolet Suburban of the 
local soccer team's star goalkeeper.  The vast majority of those 
vehicles targeted for theft were SUVs, with 10 Chevrolet Tahoes 
topping the list. 
 
 
 
Comment 
 
------- 
 
 
 
8.  (C) Cosmopolitan Monterrey, situated astride a key northern 
transit route, is of significant strategic value to organized crime 
and the violence hitting rural Nuevo Leon may soon affect the 
metropolitan area, long considered Zeta territory, as the Gulf 
Cartel and its allies seek to inflict damage on the Zetas.  The 
city is a safe-haven, source of revenue (mainly from extortion), 
and supply center for the Zetas.  Post suspects the recent wave of 
car thefts in the city is in response to demands by Zeta leaders 
for vehicles to support their battles along the northern border. 
 
 
 
9.  (C) Zeta influence here is longstanding and widespread 
throughout local and state government.  Gang members hung the 
recently discovered narcobanners in at least one area, near the 
Palacio del Gobierno, under state police observation.  RSO sources 
indicated that state police officers' calls for backup went 
unheeded.  Post has long connected former Nuevo Leon Director 
General of State Investigation Hector Santos (now serving in the 
same post in Coahuila) with the Zetas, and many other local and 
state police and government officials have ties to organized crime. 
It is telling that, in an advance copy Post obtained of a February 
27 El Milenio editorial, the newspaper lamented that corruption and 
indifference have hobbled state and municipal security forces and 
termed Nuevo Leon's Secretary of Security, Carlos Jauregui, as 
"pathetic and ineffective."  The editorial said state security 
forces could not control the current situation and would therefore 
be unable to contain rising levels of violence, even with military 
assistance.  The head of one prominent local industrial association 
told Consul General on February 26 that the business community 
would not stand for any further deterioration in the security 
environment. 
 
 
 
10.  (C) Until February 26, the El Norte newspaper, long considered 
an outspoken voice against organized crime, had been surprisingly 
muted in its coverage of the recent border violence, characterizing 
residents fears' as "psychosis" resulting from living under 
constant narco-threats.  In contrast to its past policies, the 
newspaper gave the narcobanners full play, complete with a large, 
and legible, photo of the banners' defiant, pro-Zeta message.  The 
newspaper's owners relocated to Texas in 2008 due to ongoing 
threats from organized crime, and Post worries that pressure on the 
newspaper has only increased given the recent instability at the 
border.  Competing El Milenio has provided far more thorough coverage, but even it has taken a measured approach.  The newspaper 
has avoided depicting terming the conflict as between cartels, 
instead casting the military in the main adversarial role. 
 
 
 
11.  (C) Monterrey is the home to the Fourth military region, which 
oversees army operations in Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, and 
Tamaulipas, and local military sources tell us that they think the 
violence will eventually subside.  However, they caution that the 
continued tensions between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, will make 
the situation unstable - and subject to sudden eruptions of 
violence - for the foreseeable future. 

WILLIAMSON