Wednesday, March 3, 2010


County officials, especially those in the law enforcement field, are continuing to keep a wary eye on worsening violence in the border areas of northern Mexico and preparing to deal with a possible spillover of the turmoil into Starr County and the remainder of the Valley.
County Judge Eloy Vera told The Rio Grande Herald on Friday, Feb. 26, “We are very concerned. All our law enforcement entities are on high alert. We’re in regular contact with state and federal entities. At this point, things are fine on the U.S. side.”
During the past two weeks, reports indicate that long-simmering violence has seriously escalated in areas of Mexico bordering Starr County. There have been widespread rumors and some concrete reports of gun battles in Miguel Aleman, Camargo, Mier and Guerrero. News reports indicate at least several police officers in Mier were abducted in an incident last week. Streets of Miguel Aleman were reported to be deserted after a gun battle last week.
The violence throughout the border area and much of Mexico is believed by some to be a conflict between one or more drug cartels and the “Zetas”, previously a military arm of one of the cartels.
Judge Vera commented on Monday, “Rumors about the situation in Mexico are very rampant. Facts are hard to come by. It (the violence) will without a doubt have serious implications for bridge traffic. Traffic on the bridge (at Roma) is down to virtually nothing. I hope things improve, but I don’t know how long this situation will linger. I don’t know when the situation will return to some degree of normality.”
“The Sheriff’s Department is in constant communication with state and federal law enforcement entitities,” stressed the judge. “They are all sharing resources and manpower…Authorities are keeping a close eye on the bridges.”
Vera declared, “Nobody seems to have a full understanding of why this unrest is going on.”
The judge declared it is his understanding that “there have been at least several fatalities in Mier, Miguel Aleman and other Mexican communities close to the border (in the past week or so).”

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