Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Kind of No Man's Land

What's it like to live along the border of the United States and Mexico? Cecilia Balli reports:

Then I picked up the latest issue of the magazine Proceso, where an article by reporter Marcela Turati described the mayhem that recently befell Tamaulipas after special forces gunned down a top capo for the Gulf Cartel in Matamoros, across the international line from my hometown. (The University of Texas at Brownsville, where I have an office, had to be locked down for the weekend because of the prospect of bullets flying over the Rio Grande.) The government claimed Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén’s death as a major victory, and President Obama phoned Calderón to personally congratulate him. But the residents of Tamaulipas felt the fallout immediately.

The following day, the rival group known as the “Zetas” papered Matamoros with recruitment fliers. And a few days later, they raided Ciudad Mier, a border town formerly controlled by the Gulf, where they burned police buildings and forced the remaining several dozen residents to run for their lives. Those who didn’t have the resources to escape to Texas sought cover in nearby Ciudad Alemán, where they huddled on the ground of the Mexican government’s first shelter for drug war refugees.

Read the whole thing. (via Kausfiles)