Jul 11, 2008, 9:26 PM
Post #9 of 22
This has been an eventful week in sleepy little Lerdo.
First the cast of characters: Nery, Misael and Karla, my English students whom you have met. My friend and chief protector, Enrique, and my friend Johnny who runs the English school where my guys go 4 nights per week. Then there are are the local narcos and the invading gang who call themselves the Zs.
Monday lunch time: Karla's aunt who works in a restaurant, reports that a group of heavily armed men came into the restaurant, ordered the owner to lock the door, took all the cell phones from the diners, and set down to order lunch. After they ate, the paid the bills of everyone in the place, returned the cell phones, and very politely thanked the people for joining them for lunch. They drove off in their big black trucks. No word on how many Tums were needed.
Tuesday in the early morning, Johnny went downtown to the plaza where he found a line of the Zs' black trucks facing a large group of the local police in the streets and on the roof tops with their rifles at the ready. Johnny turned around and peddled his bike as fast as he could back home. Apparently no shots were fired. I'd love to know how the stand-off ended.
Wednesday afternoon in a colonia on the far western side of town, there was a running gun battle between some locals and the Zs. Deaths or wounds, if any, are unknown.
Thursday night all hell broke loose. Nery came to my house early Friday morning to report his eye witness account.
After class at Johnny's school let out at 8:pm, Nery and a friend were walking together when they were stopped by a running gun battle with the Zs in the big black trucks chasing some locals in various vehicles. People on the street were taking cover as best the could behind cars, or laying flat on the sidewalks, or running away as fast as they could. Nery was able to take cover in his aunt's house a couple of blocks away. After about 30 minutes of shooting around a park, the Zs left the scene and headed toward the periférico. Deaths or wounds not known.
Misael and Karla had left Johnny and were waiting for the bus two streets over from the battle street. Just as the bus arrived, a swarm of people came running up to get on the bus to fee the war zone.
Meanwhile, Enrique was at his mother's house, They heard gun shots, so he and his brothers went up on the roof of the two story house. There they had ringside seats to another gun battle happening on the other side of the periférico at a known drug house. They counted 8 local narcos in a shoot out with about 40 Zs. Enrique had the presence of mind to check his watch. The battle started at 8:05pm. At 8:35, the Zs abruptly got back into their trucks and sped away. About 30 minutes later the army arrived.
After things calmed down, Enrique and his brothers went to the scene where they found the ground littered with spent shell cases. He brought home a sack full, including several live rounds. One local narco was killed; the number wounded is unknown. One Z truck was left behind because the tires were shot flat. Inside and around the truck was a very large amount of blood. The Zs had taken their dead with them. Also killed were two of a neighbor's cows.
Friday morning while Nery was here telling me his story, Enrique came out to tell his tale. Neither guy knew of the other's gun fight. I find interesting that both battles started at the same time, ended at the same time, and both groups of Zs fled in the same direction on the periférico shortly before the army arrived. Coincidences? I don't think so.
Friday morning the army had a large presence around the plaza where they went from store to store telling the owners to close early Friday and Saturday nights. Nearly everyone was closed by 5, and the word on the street is that most will not open at all on Sunday.
No shootings on Friday.
Stay tuned for the next chapter in the Lerdo drug wars.
I should add that thus far no civilian blood has been spilled. A lot of folks have been scared half to death, but not injured.
(This post was edited by Rolly on Jul 11, 2008, 9:49 PM)