March 12, 2007:
The Mexican government said that it
will continue its military and police-led crackdown on drug gangs. Mexican
government leaders and security personnel have received numerous death threats
from drug lords and narcotic traffickers. The Mexican authorities take this as
a sign that the large-scale anti-drug and anti-crime action is hurting the drug
gangs. Newly elected president Calderon decided to treat the problem posed by
drug cartels as if it were a small-scale rebellion. In fact, the drug cartels
had carved out "no go" areas in western Mexico much smaller, but in some ways
not too dissimilar, from some of the rebel "duchies" in Colombia. Cartel money
also purchased protection in several large cities, such as Tijuana. Acapulco is
in some ways analogous to a battlefield as rival gangs have battled among
themselves and with the police. Calderon also boosted military pay, which was a
popular move. Low pay has made bribes too attractive for many in the security
March 9, 2007: Residents of Columbus, New Mexico,
marked the 91st anniversary of Pancho Villa's raid. Eighteen Americans died in
that operation, along with some 75 Villistas. A detachment of the US 13th
Cavalry was stationed outside Columbus, and
responded to the attack.
March 8, 2007: Mexican authorities reported that
"armed gunmen" invaded a cemetery near Veracruz and stole the body of a
recently deceased "hitman." This rather
bizarre incident may have involved two things: drug gang rivalries and an
attempt to "destroy evidence." The dead "hitman" had been identified as a
"Zeta", one of the elite gang members who operate as enforcers and "commandos"
for the Gulf drug cartel.
March 6, 2007: Following a Mexican supreme court
decision, the Mexican military will allow troops testing HIV-positive to
re-enlist in the military service. Some 300 Mexican service personnel had been
dismissed from the military for testing HIV-positive.