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Narco-Terrorism Lurks South of the Border

Just across the Texas border, the Sinaola and Gulf drug cartels are waging a bloody war. In Monterrey, a city of 3.5 million people, a city of wealth and a previously quiet city with a major university, over 100 murders occurred in 2007, with 31 law enforcement officers as victims.

Not one 2007 cartel-related killing in the state of Nuevo León, where Monterrey is the capital, was solved as of the last week of December.

Monterrey lies about 2 hours from Nuevo Laredo (136 miles), just across the U.S.-Mexico border from Laredo Texas. In Laredo, Interstate 35 begins its run up the center of the United States that goes to Duluth Minnesota.

The narco-violence is not restricted to Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey or Acapulco. Recent reports detail the spread of the drug wars to Baja California, where on December 18th, at 1PM, ten cars approached the building where police chief of Playas de Rosarito, Jorge Eduardo Montero Alvarez were getting out of their cars, and opened fire. High caliber weapons were used on both sides of the battle.

Just this past Friday, on December 29th, a police convoy in the central state of Zacatecas was attacked by heavily armed commandos, killing seven police officers and allowing two alleged kidnappers to escape. This attack was seemingly in retaliation for the capture of the kidnap suspects just hours earlier.

The killings capped a bloody year in Mexico's brutal drug gang war, which claimed more than 2,200 lives in 2007, including scores of law enforcers.

It is suspected that the Zetas, deserters from the U.S.-trained, Mexican special operations forces, are responsible for the attacks. Known to some as "Los Zetas," they are the armed militia supporting the Gulf Cartel in this drug war.

Considering the porosity of the U.S.-Mexican border, and despite President Calderone's efforts to quell the violence using Mexican federal troops, this continuing drug violence has to be considered seriously.