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Altahabana


Jul 22, 2010, 8:04 AM

Post #1 of 34 (20761 views)

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Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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It appears that the honeymoon period Nuevo Laredo has enjoyed since the war in the Frontera began in February has ended. It seems the enfrentamiento last Friday was not just a chance encounter between the military and Zetas, but the start of a military offensive to drive the Zetas out of Nuevo Laredo. It was timed to coincide with summer vacation period for the schools.

On Monday night there was an incident at the sports fields around Parque Viveros. A grenade was tossed under some bleachers during a soccer match. Only one person was killed, but sixteen were injured including several children. Some of the wounded were transported to Laredo, Tx. for treatment. There was a specific target who wasn't identified. Last night there was a major gunbattle around the park which I could hear from my house about 3/4 mile away. Details are sketchy because the NL papers do not cover these events, but there were supposedly a number of bad guys killed. No word on civilian casualties.

The road from Bridge II to the Monterrey highway is Luis Donaldo Colosio. It runs past Parque Viveros and is maybe 200 yards from where last night's gunbattle occurred. There have been reports of Zeta convoys moving along Colosio, although there has not been any mention of fighting. There also were isolated incidents along Reforma, the other major route out of town to Monterrey near the HEB and Wal-Marts. It is difficult to predict where and when something might happen.

If the photographs from Friday's balacera (they are available on www.blogdelnarco.com) are any indication, this is going to be a brutal campaign. The army doesn't seem to be interested in taking any of these guys alive who resist. There will not be alot of specific news in the mainstream media, but there is most definately something happening here. While it was relatively calm over the weekend, there have been incidents all this week and the city is on edge. I offer this for what its worth to those trying to select a route to the interior.



Brian

Jul 22, 2010, 8:16 AM

Post #2 of 34 (20752 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Warden messages and the mainstream Mexican media have taken a place of secondary importance to social networking. Last night, Nuevo Laredo was the scene of major shootouts. That is nothing new or unusual. But to locals, however, Twitter lets people know exactly where the events are occurring in realtime. That is the kind of "news you can use".

http://revistaemet.net/.../noticia.php?id=4439

Brian


(This post was edited by Rolly on Jul 22, 2010, 9:29 AM)


(This post was edited by Brian on Jul 22, 2010, 8:27 AM)


chinagringo


Jul 22, 2010, 11:09 AM

Post #3 of 34 (20695 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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I would like to commend both Altahabana and Brian for their efforts in trying to provide an accurate picture of what is happening with respect to the Nuevo Laredo border area! Virtually every day, I see postings on various Mexico Forums that essentially tell inquiring travelers: "Not to worry and be Happy". Such irresponsible advice does a real disservice to those "innocents", who are simply attempting to gather good information on which to base a decision. I have to wonder if those same "advice providers" will feel anything should one of those asking meet with tragic circumstances or will they just minimize it by rationalizing that: "it was their time"?
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



ken_in_dfw

Jul 22, 2010, 12:24 PM

Post #4 of 34 (20669 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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The NL papers may not be covering what's going on in your backyard, Altahabana, but the AP is: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...world_news-americas/ .


Altahabana


Jul 22, 2010, 12:40 PM

Post #5 of 34 (20664 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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I think that sort of advice is well meaning but to me demonstrates a real lack of awareness or knowledge about what narco violence involves. It certainly shows that the poster has never had the misfortune to witness or experience it first hand. It is obvious but at times doesn't seem to register with some people, that simply because someone saw nothing unusual on their 45 minute drive through the city doesn't mean that there is no risk.

There was a horrible incident last night in the Wal-Mart parking lot around 7 pm. The two victims killed in the car were intended victims. The third was a Wal-Mart employee who happened to be walking by at the wrong time. Again I don't mean to be creating fear, but there is a very serious situation unfolding here.
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robt65

Jul 22, 2010, 12:50 PM

Post #6 of 34 (20662 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Hello Altahabana,

Without a doubt some of the most gruesome scenes I have seen since leaving the military.

With all due respect Ken in dfw, "The NL papers may not be covering what's going on in your backyard, Altahabana, but the AP is" I would be astonished if the AP was posting such factual and accurate photos as those on www.blogdelnarco.com There are no words available in the human language to paint that reality. Seeing such things is the closest step to being there, and our culture will not allow that to happen.

I saw these photos yesterday morning, it brought back a lot of very unpleasant memories from years ago. I certainly don't like to see or hear of such atrocities but it behooves us all to really understand what really is going on especially when traveling. Thank you for the posting. RIP

Robt65


(This post was edited by robt65 on Jul 22, 2010, 1:02 PM)


Altahabana


Jul 22, 2010, 1:11 PM

Post #7 of 34 (20655 views)

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Re: [ken_in_dfw] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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In Reply To
The NL papers may not be covering what's going on in your backyard, Altahabana, but the AP is: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...world_news-americas/ .



I am glad the fighting is getting general coverage, but that article understandably cannot convey the extent of the problem or how it impacts the city. It is also pretty vague about what actually occurred and why. The writer implies the fighting is between two rival cartels which most definitely it is not. The article also does not provide much information that a traveler can use in deciding whether to cross here.


ken_in_dfw

Jul 22, 2010, 1:20 PM

Post #8 of 34 (20647 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Completely agreed, Altahabana. Just letting folks know that there is some coverage getting out, however sparse it might be.

I, like others here, am very grateful for the frontline information you provide us. It's very helpful.


robt65

Jul 22, 2010, 1:38 PM

Post #9 of 34 (20638 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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I personally heard a NPR (National Public Radio) account (story if you will) two nights ago as I was going to bed. . . . . . hummmmmm I thought to myself . . . . . That would have been good for about a year ago. . . . not today and yet it was about the NV shoot out last week when so many were killed. If it is supposed to be educational I did not find it so. I found it to be fear and contempt than anything else.

I also was thinking about how gutsy it was for Dollie to recently have to take that route as her husband had to fly home to Nashville and she had to drive back through that border with the children. She had the car permit there I guess, I don't really know. There must be some way that the car permit can be turned in at another crossing, if the one a person got the car permit at was in a real bad place like NV. I think I would be tempted to give it to another office and tell them . .. there it is . . . you take it to NV! (smiling)

Robt65


(This post was edited by robt65 on Jul 22, 2010, 1:43 PM)


Altahabana


Jul 22, 2010, 1:49 PM

Post #10 of 34 (20629 views)

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Re: [ken_in_dfw] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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I am just trying to pass along what is reasonably verifiable. There are so many rumors floating around that it seems like there is fighting going on everywhere. Clearly that is not happening. It is the uncertainty and rumor that makes the situation so tense.

It is very peculiar to me how information gets passed along. I mentioned in my first post I had heard there were problems at Wal-Mart. A neighbor whose teen age daughter had gone to the movies at the Cineplex said that there had been a balacera. People on the Reforma website I linked mentioned shooting up and down Reforma last night. This afternoon a friend with connections to the Procuraduria General de Justica (i.e. the state attorney general's office) e-mailed me the crime scene photographs from the Wal-Mart parking lot. Not to compare and contrast but an event this gruesome (I did not post the close ups of the victims) would have been all over radio, TV and print media if it had happened in the US.


(This post was edited by Altahabana on Jul 22, 2010, 1:50 PM)


chinagringo


Jul 22, 2010, 1:57 PM

Post #11 of 34 (20624 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Borderland has a story:
http://www.borderlandbeat.com/...in-nuevo-laredo.html

And from Laredo TV - a report from last night. In the video, one can hear gunshots/explosions. But very short on any hard facts:
http://www.pro8news.com/...Border-98983454.html
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



chinagringo


Jul 22, 2010, 4:02 PM

Post #12 of 34 (20599 views)

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Re: [robt65] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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To the best of my knowledge, there is no requirement that one returns to the point of issue to void the car permit. If one obtains their permit online or at a consulate (as we do), the permit can be voided at any exit point.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



tonyburton


Jul 22, 2010, 4:28 PM

Post #13 of 34 (20583 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Your self-restraint in terms of the photos you chose is sincerely appreciated. Thanks! Tony


Rolly


Jul 22, 2010, 4:28 PM

Post #14 of 34 (20582 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Neil is right. You can turn in the permit at any office. A long time ago, before computers, if you made a cash bond, you had to return to the same office to get a refund. Not any more.

Rolly Pirate


chinagringo


Jul 22, 2010, 4:33 PM

Post #15 of 34 (20576 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Yesterday, I inquired directly to another Mexican Forum Moderator in a PM why he continued with glowing safety reports as seen through "rose colored glasses"? I did receive an answer today and will not break proper forum etiquette by repeating his exact statements. But terms such as "undue hysteria", "uninitiated", and "over cautious Consulate warnings" were used. He further stated that friends have crossed the border virtually every day since Alex struck and have driven to central MX without any problems. We all know that to be impossible! When a Moderator becomes this arrogant and deems it his privilege to censor reports, his credibility is gone.

For my part, I will not longer either post on or follow that particular forum!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



onebusyman

Jul 22, 2010, 5:47 PM

Post #16 of 34 (20548 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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I just don't understand how the Mexican people can do this to each other and to their country. I understand that the " bad" guys are a very small portion of the population.....and they are incredibly deadly in their small numbers. It makes no sense to me.....and it makes me incredibly sad that this beautiful country and these beautiful people have to endure this 'war'.


Brian

Jul 22, 2010, 6:33 PM

Post #17 of 34 (20534 views)

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Re: [onebusyman] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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It's all about money and the pursuit thereof. Right now the cartels hire young men and women to become soldiers in this civil war. Soldiers are trained to kill the enemy. This war is no different and there will always be innocent civilians who become collateral damage.


raferguson


Jul 22, 2010, 10:33 PM

Post #18 of 34 (20477 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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This kind of sticking one's head in the sand has been going on for decades. I used to post crime news, and was often heavily criticized for it. One guy said that I was as bad as the KKK! Apparently he thought that it was prejudiced to post official information that cast Mexico in a bad light. And of course the US state department warnings have often been regarded as exaggerations by the rose colored glasses crowd.

Similarly, there have always been people who say that "I have not been robbed, and my friends have not been robbed, so there is no problem. Anybody who says that there is a problem is a ______________." (Fill in the blank with a derogatory word). Of course, a small sample size proves nothing.

I have generally given up the fight, partly due to being tired of the grief. But also because, with the present situation and press coverage, few people deny the crime problems anymore. My personal tendency is to speak up whenever one side of a story is not being told, and especially when someone makes a statement that is verifiably false.

So at this point, I no longer feel the need to pass along crime news and warnings, as there is plenty of that going on already, at every level, from the US newspapers to forums, etc.

I had somebody ask me the other day if I was still going to Mexico. My stock answer has been that I still go, but that I do think about where I go, and am more careful than in the past. My spouse, who has been to more Mexican states than most Mexicans, is questioning whether Mexico is safe. And I too am having second thoughts. Sad that it has reached that point.......

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


wendy devlin

Jul 23, 2010, 12:35 PM

Post #19 of 34 (20375 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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I think that most long-term contributors to these forums, have had to stand up to years of criticism by other people, regarding our personal Mexican experiences. Personally, I've never understood the viewpoint, 'If it hasn't happened to me personally or somebody I know, it hasn't 'happened'.

Have long considered an alternate view, 'If it's part of human experience, it could happen to me!"

And work to mitigate the odds, by informing myself, by any available means. Plus listening to that great teacher, Experience.

Doubt there are many if any regular posters to this site, that welcome the 'inseguridad' that Mexico Lindo, is currently experiencing.

In times like these, (or any old time, in my opinion) people need to help each other as much as possible.

Pay attention and pass along information/news/events that they think, will help others.

Unfortunately, however, in times of 'crisis' propanganda, all sides, also competes for our attention.

So...always...consider the source.


Brian

Jul 23, 2010, 1:08 PM

Post #20 of 34 (20363 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Has anyone else noticed this "sign of the times"? In this very same forum, someone has asked for advice about the safest route from Arizona to Leon,Gto. More than 82 viewers have read the message without a single resonse. It didn't use to be this way. Mexico has changed as have many of us longtime members. It is the end of the age of innocence.


wendy devlin

Jul 23, 2010, 1:34 PM

Post #21 of 34 (20350 views)

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Re: [Brian] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Brian,
Some of us, lost the 'age of innocence' some time back.
Have long advocated, people sharing in good conscience, 'Da good, da bad and da ugly' as a better reality check for many situations.

Wherever people might live. However as a mother, now as a grandmother of a Mexican-born grandson for eight years, that's been 'my thing':)

This way, I can die in peace, ja, ja!


chinagringo


Jul 23, 2010, 1:47 PM

Post #22 of 34 (20338 views)

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Re: [Brian] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Brian:

While your point is well taken, I was unwilling to take a shot since I have never made the trip between the two specified points. All too often on various forums, I have seen way too many people that will only recommend the route they always use, no matter where they are coming from. For example, if I were to make that drive from NM, I would head straight south crossing at Santa Teresa, NM thru Chihuahua and Zacatecas and then on to Leon (assuming that I was comfortable with the current security situation along the route). In fact, that is exactly what route we went on our last trip. Then again, there are those who would recommend driving to Laredo or one of the other Texas crossings. Having never crossed at Nogales, I have no ideas on that route.

I figured that there had to be a few folk that had personally done that drive and could offer better advice. After all, Leon, Guanajuato or San Miguel are pretty much the same destinations.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Brian

Jul 23, 2010, 1:54 PM

Post #23 of 34 (20333 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Hi Neil

She didn't ask for the best route but rather the safest route. I think that no one is willing to make a recommendation about that because, frankly, there is no safe route at this time much less a safest one from which to choose.

Saludos

Brian


chinagringo


Jul 23, 2010, 2:01 PM

Post #24 of 34 (20327 views)

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Re: [Brian] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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Good point! I missed the qualifier. ADD?
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Dollie

Jul 23, 2010, 11:14 PM

Post #25 of 34 (20231 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Current Situation in Nuevo Laredo

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When we crossed through Nuevo Laredo, they canceled our permit at the booth but they could not give us back our money. They told me to go to the bank with the receipt to get the refund OR bring it back at a later date. No way was I going to hunt down a bank in NL for $300.
I saved the ticket and I hope to get the money when we return.

The military had the road leading into NL closed off on Monday.The troops are so young and they looked scared and edgy. The one who stopped our car and asked me questions looked no older than 15! I gave him the rosary blessed by our priest and while I doubt he was suppose to, he put it in his pocket. I pray that he is safe tonight.

About a mile from the military roadblock there was a police roadblock which looked odd. The policeman asked for my ID and refused to take the copy I had made. I had to give him my real ID and after speaking with him about the kids and my dog, I told him that I thought he was very brave for doing his job, I think that is the only reason why I have my ID back. LOL. Plus the gatorade he asked for.

Overall, it was a very nice, easy trip. Would I cross into NL again? NO. I have no desire to go back to Mexico for a very long time but Hubby is saying this fall. *sighs*
Things will have to change between now and then.
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