Skip to comments.Chaos in Nuevo Laredo Panic leads to police shooting at federal agents; one dead (Mexico)
Posted on 06/12/2005 1:54:51 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch
NUEVO LAREDO The status of safety in Nuevo Laredo, having drawn high attention from Mexico City and Washington due to midweek violence, played a scene Saturday wherein local police exchanged gunfire with newly-arrived federal agents from Mexico City.
A spokesman for the Nuevo Laredo police, Dirección de Seguridad Pública, described the incident as an accidental shooting in which an AFI, Agencia Federal de Investigaciones, agent was wounded. The AFI agent, identified as Feliciano Campos Sanchez, died hours later at a Nuevo Laredo hospital.
The local municipal police spokesman, who requested anonymity, told the Laredo Morning Times that the group of federal agents was part of 25 who arrived Saturday morning and were en route from the Nuevo Laredo International Airport to a designated station in town. The official, quoting from a Saturday afternoon briefing, said local police became suspicious and tried to stop a convoy of vehicles carrying the agents.
"Police confused the agents for roadside bandits, gatilleros," the spokesman told the Times late Saturday afternoon.
The coordinator of the federal lawmen, Abraham Hurtado Sanchez, however, confirmed the AFI unit is part of an 80-man force authorized by President Fox and the attorney general to come to the border to assist state and local law enforcement in dealing with the continued border violence.
The Tamaulipas governors office called on President Fox to dispatch special federal investigators after Wednesdays murder of Alejandro Domínguez Coello, who was killed the same day he was named chief of police.
The initial contact between local traffic police and the AFI group occurred at 11 a.m. Saturday at Donaldo Colossio Boulevard and the Pan American Highway 85, Carretera Nacional, south of the downtown business district.
Hurtado Sanchez said the agents were traveling from the Nuevo Laredo International Airport when two NL patrol units tried to stop the convoy. The police spokesman told the Times that the agents ignored orders to get out of the vehicles and continued down the boulevard.
In the vicinity of Club Campestre on Colossio, the AFI convoy was intercepted by several other police units commandeered by uniformed officers. Local officers were quoted as saying that the agents were in civilian clothes and did not display AFI identification badges. The officers also claimed the men were traveling in unmarked pickups. They said vehicles used by federal police generally carry stickers and plates to indicate that they are federal property.
This was a scene of pushing, shoving and heated discussion, according to eyewitnesses. In the melee, several shots were fired from AR-15 and .223-caliber weapons by Nuevo Laredo police officers. Campos Sanchez was the only participant hit, suffering wounds to the back, according to attendants at the Hospital de Especialidades.
A spokesman at the hospital emergency room quoted an attending physician as saying a bullet penetrated one of the victims lungs.
Officer Oscar Arriaga, station supervisor for the Justo Sierra and Peru substation, said local police became suspicious "because they were not in uniform and "they ignored our commands, causing us to take extreme measures."
"We acted accordingly and followed procedure," Arriaga said. "Thats why they brought all (of) us to the Municipal Palace to make official statements."
Hurtado Sanchez told the Times that federal agents never made any attempt to draw firearms to defend themselves. He said the agents weapons were in their personal luggage.
" I tried to calm down my men, the federal agents, and told them not return the assault and that apparently it was all a mistake on their part," Hurtado Sanchez said. "We were being escorted by a member of the PGR substation in Nuevo Laredo. He was the one who asked for assistance from other law enforcement elements."
Late Saturday afternoon, it was reported 41 members of the Nuevo Laredo Municipal Police Department were directed to City Hall to make statements. It was also reported that all of the officers involved in the incident would possibly be taken to Mexico City as part of the investigation.
Nuevo Laredo Mayor Daniel Peña Treviño, meanwhile, deplored the situation in a statement Saturday, adding "now public opinion shall see action on the part of federal government."
In a Spanish language Houston Chronicle dispatch for The New York Times, the Nuevo Laredo mayor criticized the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, over the envoys statements in connection with the Domínguez Coello death.
Garza was quoted Thursday in Mexico City as saying the situation in Nuevo Laredo has raised serious concerns in Washington as well as Texas. Peña Treviño said the United States shares some blame in the narcotics-based violence on the border because of the "Drugs are not being transported all over the United States by way of the Internet," Peña Treviño .
The Nuevo Laredo mayor said earlier that he does not believe the Domínguez Coello shooting was the work of any organized crime group or a drug cartel.
However, the Nuevo Laredo business community and business interests in the City of Laredo are alarmed at the continuing violence.
Higinio Ibarra, director of the Nuevo Laredo Association of Businessmen, said the town has seen few arrests and that the murders of several police officers have not been solved.
"We know there have been a bunch of investigations, but we dont see anyone behind bars," Ibarra said.
Manuel Balmori, federal prosecutor in Nuevo Laredo, the 80 agents assigned by the AFI are the equivalent of the Mexican FBI.
"They are special agents, well-trained to deal with narcotics traffickers and organized criminal elements," Balmori said. "Some are out there undercover."
He said these agents are a complement to more than 700 federal police and military people who were assigned to the Nuevo Laredo sector of the border in March. The official said the border violence is tied to the drug cartels operating in the regions of Sinaloa state and the Mexican Gulf coast.
Balmori said the Mexican authorities here are working closely with U.S. law enforcement in Laredo and Webb County.
Raymundo Ramos, who directs the local Commission on Human Rights, told the Times that "Nuevo Laredo is under a cloud where everyone fears becoming the next statistic."
The position of Nuevo Laredo chief of police remains vacant, although according to City Hall officials, several individuals came to the mayors office Thursday expressing interest in the job. The mayor said the matter would be on the agenda of the next City Council meeting.
(Odie Arambula translated and contributed to this article. He can be reached at (956) 728-2561 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Need more than just serious concern about the entire border situation.
Lets see, now.
The last Chief of Police was murdered after holding the job for a few hours, and the mayor is deferring acting on the matter until the next City Council meeting?
I wonder if it will appear on the agenda before or after "Pothole Repair".
NL Chaos Ping!
Please FReepmail me if you want on or off this South Texas/Mexico ping list.
Seeing as how the usual notifiers are occupied this weekend I compiled nearly all illegal immigration related articles posted over the last few days in this handy link list:
I used to come up thru Nuevo Laredo back in the old days on occasion.
It always seemed sorta sleepy to me.
Boys Town was a favorite for some.
I feel rather sorry for the inevitable (and quite literal) "bleedover" the Laredoans will suffer if this is left ignored.
What's that tag line...Dane's got his own groupie? Hahahahaha!
The vehicles were probably stolen from the Texas side the previous night and the Federales didn't have time to rebadge them.
Is there ANYTHING that this mess of a country cannot screw up???
61 local officers detained after police gunfire wounds a federal agent during a stop. Local officials are describing it as an accident.
Campos [the agent who was shot] was traveling with 25 other unarmed AFI agents in three pickups when the shooting occurred.
Just how do Mexicans cram so many people into so few vehicles?
Very nice file post. Thank you
Thank you for compiling that list!
<groan > ;^) </groan >
I think it was yesterday that a poster signed up with a screen name of I Love Dane. He/she got in a couple of posts and then got banned.
If they start killing each other off, then who are the smugglers going to bribe?
Lou Dobbs transcripts.cnn | 6/9/05 | Lou Dobbs
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. Tonight, an astonishing proposal to expand our borders to incorporate Mexico and Canada and simultaneously further diminish U.S. sovereignty. Have our political elites gone mad? We'll have a special report. Now, incredibly, a panel sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations wants the United States to focus not on the defense of our own borders, but rather create what effectively would be a common border that includes Mexico and Canada.
Hey, if I was going through all those pages anyway I might as well share the results. How dare that Hijinx and Gubamyster take time off for real life!
Seriously, they do so much great work for us that I'm happy to see them take much-deserved time off.
I encourage everyone to check his transcripts pages for unique insights and cut-through-the-BS journalism. Some may want to skip over Fridays - they give the border and free trade issues a rest and focus on our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq on Fridays (though still worth watching).
Gee, and there I went thinking things were all quiet on the border this weekend...
That loss of sovereignty report is horrific. I missed the show Friday but caught the transcripts yesterday.
Exactly right about the national treasure, NR!
Did "I Love Dane" get banned because of the screen name (reason enough for me!) or because of the post contents?
BQ: Unfortunately there is no such thing anymore as a quiet weekend on the border. Perhaps when the heat index starts staying in the three-digit range.
B4: Wow! Over 50 municipalities dominated by foreign born populations (most in Florida, California and NJ)? It is time to recognize that "Hispanic's" professors prediction about defeating us through sheer inundation as no idle boast!
BTW, very nice contribution to the "Demagnetize Tennessee" thread. Alons is a very good speaker with no shortage of cajones.
I don't know. The posts were gone before I had a chance to read them. I got the impression from other posts that "I Love Dane" didn't love Dane.
He had one very briefly yesterday. Got zapped.
Dane had an admirer yesterday briefly. AM bagged him/her/it.
[[Seeing as how the usual notifiers are occupied this weekend I compiled nearly all illegal immigration related articles posted over the last few days in this handy link list:]]
Great job Tacticus! All of these links (in just one short week) show exactly how bad of a problem illegal immigration really is. Our elected officials are hearing us loud and clear. They will either comply or suffer the consequences.
I was just telling a newbie the other day that these anti-illegal immigration threads aren't about inbred yahoos pining for a Klan meeting - they're about illustrating the true depth and scope of an ongoing national crisis.
That these are the only threads under continuous attack by people who seem to have a great stake in their suppression tells me that we're definitely barking up the right tree.
But what do I know? I'm so backward I believe we need to revive the Un-American Activities Committee.
That one pegged out the BS meter.
Sort of reminds one of the adventures of a certain Communist journalist, her unfortunate chauffeur and some of our troops in Iraq, doesn't it?
Deja vu all over again.
It was Bush's fault in both cases, though.
'Laredo' is Spanish for 'Keystone'?
Rurales rules rule........dangerous gangs on both sides of a poor excuse for law.
Stay safe ....thanks for the ping
WOW, I had visited only one of these links over the weekend.
Hope you are doing well.
True enough, and not knowing how these folks gather their data, it's really tough to determine just how accurate it is. An indicator at best. It would certainly seem the border states would be better represented by "foreign born residents"......wouldn't it?
Thanks for the links!