By Mario Andrade
Two weeks after a U.S. Military convoy was seen in the northern Mexican city of Matamoros, the local head of Mexico’s military police has been relieved of duty. After denying rumors that he was being relieved, Brigadier General David Mejia quietly stepped down and was transferred to another duty station due to a ‘promotion’ according the Matamoros Public Safety Office.
Did the U.S. Military Officials influence the Mexican Government in the decision to relieve the Chief of Military Police in Matamoros? According to NORTHCOM’s Colonel Wayne M. Shanks, U.S. Military officials traveled to Matamoros to hold a ‘routine meeting.’ In an interview withthe Brownsville Herald, Colonel Shanks also mentioned that meetings between the U.S. and Mexican militaries take place regularly.
This would perhaps explain the reason why a Mexican military helicopter landed at the Laredo Texas airport just a few months ago. The difference this time is that the ‘military meeting’ took place on the Mexican side of the border. Are the U.S. and Mexican Governments allowing these military incursions to take place without informing their citizens?
Matamoros is one among many cities in the border State of Tamaulipas where the police departments have been dismantled and relieved by Mexican MP’s due to accusations of corruption and collaboration with the drug cartels.
Also, this week, the Mexican Government has deployed 8,000 troops to the border cities of Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa in addition to the 5,000 troops already stationed there. Was this perhaps another recommendation from the U.S. Military?
War zone along the Rio Grande Valley
In recent months, there have been many reports of drug cartel members engaging in shoot outs with the Mexican Military, and eventually crossing into the U.S. side of the border as they’re being chased. Groups of armed men have been crossing the border and terrifying residents in Roma, Elsa, and Rio Grande City, Texas. Last year, on the Mexican side of the border, a teenager from Nuevo Laredo was shot twice with what appeared to be Mexican Military stray bullets. Also last month, three American Citizens died when Los Zetas attacked and tried to hijack a bus in Veracruz.
Since 2010, the battle between Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel displaced 6,000 residents from the border town of Mier. Some of those residents are living as refugees across the border in Roma, Texas.
Last month, just a few miles from Mier in Falcon Lake, authorities discovered human remains. Some believe the remains belong to American David Hartley, although it hasn’t been officially confirmed. Hartley was killed by Los Zetas a year and a half ago when him and his wife were jet skiing in Falcon Lake.
As drug cartels become more aggressive, there have been a string of shootings and kidnappings in Hidalgo County. Last month a deputy was shot in the McAllen, Texas area when he tried to arrest a drug cartel member.
Since it has become more difficult to smuggle drugs across the Rio Grande, the cartels are now stealing from each other once they bring the shipments to the U.S. side of the border, engaging in violent shootings and kidnappings and endangering the lives of U.S. citizens.