Mexican drug gangs continue to increase operations in the Mexico- Guatemala border region and into Guatemala itself. The Mexican government believes that Los Zetas cartel has either made deals with several local smuggling gangs in the Mexico-Guatemala border area in order to assure control of the Central American cocaine corridor, or is just muscling its way in. A Los Zetas deal usually includes threats of murder. There have been reports of narco-gang violence in the border region and Los Zetas may have be demonstrating what it will do to local criminals who fail to cooperate. Guatemala faces the same political and developmental challenges Mexico faces: weak governmental institutions and corruption (in government and in the private sector).
October 12, 2010: A Mexican state police commander was murdered in Tamaulipas state (northern Mexico, Texas border). His head was cut off and put his body in a suitcase, which was delivered to the police. Drug gangs regard mutilation murders as propaganda by deed, violence which demonstrates their unbeatable will and complete disdain for their enemies. The police commander was investigating the September 30 disappearance of an American citizen, David Hartley, on Falcon Lake (US-Mexico border). Hartley's wife reported that pirates attacked them and killed her husband. Mexican police have stated that they do not have any specific suspects in the attack on Mr. Hartley. The beheading was not believed with the Hartley case, but with an effort to intimidate local cops.
October 11, 2010: In Sinaloa state (western Mexico), cartel gunmen attacked a police motor patrol and killed eight policemen. The gunmen were in vehicles which were tailing the police convoy on a highway near the state capital, Culiacan. The gunmen's vehicles sped up and caught the convoy, then the gunmen opened up with automatic weapons. This type of attack is called a rolling ambush. The attackers typically have the convoy under surveillance by a recon team. The recon team stays in touch with the attacking vehicles by radio or cell phone. Still, this looks like an ambush the police should have seen coming.
October 10, 2010: Gunmen killed the newly elected mayor of a small town in Oaxaca state (southern Mexico). Many able candidates are not running for election in towns overrun by drug gangsters. Serving as mayor is not seen as something worth dying for. Local government is collapsing in areas under drug gang control, and the federal government has been unable to halt the growth and spread of the drug gangs, and this is becoming a national crises. Another revolution, so to speak, but this time the rebels are gangsters, not patriots.
October 9, 2010: The government claimed that over the last four years it has seized over 74,000 weapons which were smuggled into Mexico from the US.
October 2, 2010: 12 people were injured in a grenade attack in a suburb of the city of Monterrey (Nuevo Leon state, Texas-Mexico border state). The grenade was hurled into a plaza late in the evening and the attackers escaped. Three other bombs were also detonated in the Monterrey area (one near the US consulate). Terrorists use random attacks like this to demonstrate that the government cannot protect its citizens.
Drug gangs in Durango state (northern Mexico) fought a battle in the town of San Jose de la Cruz and left 14 people dead.
October 2, 2010: In Guerrero state (western Mexico), a drug gang kidnapped 20 Mexican tourists in the city of Acapulco. Mexico's narco-gangsters attack tourist sites for the same reason guerrillas in Turkey attack Turkish resorts and militant Islamist terrorists attack hotels: it is a form of economic warfare. The difference between the criminal gangs and the political guerrillas is that the gangs can usually e bought off. The businesses have to pay protection money.
September 30, 2010: The sheriff of Zapata County, Texas reported that Mexican bandits (possibly pirates) operating on Falcon Lake may have killed an American citizen. David Hartley and his wife were on jet skis on the Mexican side of the lake. Hartley's wife reported that six gunmen in two boats chased them and shot her husband. She fled.
September 25, 2010: Mexican security forces arrested a key commander in the Sinaloa drug cartel, Margarito Soto Reyes. The arrest occurred in Guadalajara (Jalisco state, southwestern Mexico).