Saturday, April 5, 2008

I'm shocked, SHOCKED! Booze played a part in this

This sure sounds more like a melee than a "drunken spat"

Holy Moly, i mean soldiers shooting it out with police along a 80 mile stretch of road??

Mucho bad business and news.

Drunken spat leaves 6 dead south of Nuevo Laredo
Dudley Althaus:Houston Chronicle

MEXICO CITY — Six men were confirmed dead Friday after a gunbattle between state police and presumed Mexican army soldiers along an 80-mile stretch of desert highway south of Nuevo Laredo.

Three state police officers, two men reported to be active-duty soldiers and a civilian were killed.
The clash began about 10:30 p.m. Thursday when two men in army uniforms stole a pickup, then abducted and killed a man in Lampazos, about midway between Monterrey and the U.S.-Mexico border, according to Monterrey newspaper El Norte.

Stealing another vehicle, the two fled south on a highway toward Monterrey. State police intercepted them near the town of Villaldama, igniting a shootout that left one police officer dead and another fatally wounded.

The uniformed assailants then stole the patrol car of the fallen officers and continued fleeing south. Tracking the vehicle by its global positioning system, state and municipal police caught up with the men near Salinas Victoria, on the northern outskirts of Monterrey.

In a second shootout, the two suspected soldiers and another state police agent were killed.
Authorities didn't immediately offer a motive for the original abduction and killing. El Norte quoted an unidentified source as confirming at least one man as an active duty soldier.

Nuevo León state prosecutor Luis Carlos Treviño confirmed news accounts of the shootout at a Friday news conference in Monterrey. He said violence appeared to be sparked by a drunken argument between the soldiers and the murdered civilian.

An autopsy indicated a high level of alcohol in the assailants' bloodstreams, he said.

There was no immediate indication the killings were linked to the region's ubiquitous narcotics trafficking, Treviño said. The military had no immediate comment.

The bloodshed comes as thousands of Mexican troops and federal police struggle to bring order to the arid ranchlands and burgeoning industrial cities bordering South Texas from Laredo to the Gulf of Mexico. The region is the domain of the so-called Gulf Cartel, a narcotics smuggling organization that employs ex-soldiers as assassins.

The highways between Monterrey and the border near Laredo have been major transshipment routes for cocaine and other narcotics destined for American consumers.

Several dozen police officers have been killed in the Monterrey area last year. State and federal officials said much of the killing was motivated by rival gangs trying to destroy each other's police-protection networks.

President Felipe Calderón last December ordered thousands of federal troops and police into the area in an attempt to quell the violence. A similar military deployment was ordered last week for Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, and other areas of Chihuahua state, where the bloodshed has been among Mexico's worst this year.

Federal agents seized more than $6 million in cash Thursday from a supposed safe house in Nuevo Laredo after arresting five alleged Gulf Cartel gunmen at a highway checkpoint.