To keep a hot weekend simmering at a boiling point, this article from The Examiner certainly kept the fires burning. It was reported a faction of the Los Zetas drug gang had seized two ranches outside of Laredo, TX. And that the ranch owners had managed to escape. This naturally kicked up a firestorm amidst the blogging realm even as Bing and Google came up with nothing.
Though I did find this story via Bing from The Hill. About the 51 murders south of the border, talk about a job lot massacre. And this story was the first real reason why I started to doubt the story from The Examiner.
1. Los Zetas is now a criminal gang, but it started out as a special Mexican military unit trained by the United States to deal with the drug cartels.
2. So they have an internal knowledge of tactics even as they practise strategies that would make Vlad the Impaler smile.
3. It is now being reported the Yanquis are moving to the border, late but they are moving.
So what do about it?
1. Stay south and try to get through the thicker cordon with a higher chance of failure?
2. Or you shift yourself north of the picket line along with enough product to outlast at least of month of this show of force.
By shifting to the north, the alert level goes down. And from the north Los Zetas can proceed to act like normal US citizens while scouting the cordon for weaknesses from behind to get future shipments through.
So it would make sense for Los Zetas to take over a couple ranches in Texas. But Los Zetas would not do is just let the ranchers go, that violates OpSec and alerts people something happened. Los Zetas would more likely kill the ranchers to preserve security and pretend the families sold the ranches because of the threats from south of the border. But The Examiner story reports the ranch families escaped. So that is when I started to doubt this was a real story.
Now courtesy of Flopping Aces I find references to an FBI report that preceded this wild story. Notice mention is given to a mythical Texas ranch where Los Zetas supposedly conducts training. Also mentioned Texan and Mexican cartel ops are sometimes attributed to Los Zetas. So I think someone took the FBI warning and decided to embellish it. If this is true then there are some 'news' organizations that need to face up to this hoax and out those who peddled this lie. Failure to properly respond to this hoax diminishes future reporting and instills in the public a feeling that the next one will be made up. Now do we really want to become a pale copy of the Journolist crackpots?