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Grenades used in Mexico serve to scare more than kill
The Monitor ^ | June 20, 2012 | Ildefonso Ortiz

Posted on 06/21/2012 1:14:41 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch

The day started as quietly as it could on a Saturday at the U.S.-Mexico border. For Maria Ortega, a quiet weekend meant a quick trip to the Walmart along Cavazos Lerma Boulevard for ingredients for her barbacoa de lenguadish that she cooks on the eve of the Sunday morning meal.

On the morning of June 2, Ortega couldn’t make the trip to Walmart. The area had been cordoned off by the Mexican military, which was removing a grenade that had been thrown — but not detonated — at the nearby Televisa studios.

According to a Tamaulipas law enforcement official who asked to not be named citing security reasons, the grenade attack took place about 8 a.m. when unknown individuals drove by and lobbed a live grenade at the building, fleeing immediately at a high rate of speed.

According to information released by Mexico’s Attorney Generals Office, known as the PGR, grenade attacks took place at schools, businesses, and military installations from May 31 until shortly before June 11, when the Mexican military arrested Gregorio Villanueva Salas, a top Zeta operative that had been tasked with sending sicarios — hit men — to set off grenades in Matamoros in an effort to boost pressure in the area and slow down the criminal activity of the Gulf Cartel.

“That can kill innocent people,” Ortega said. “We have nothing to do with any problems. Most people here are peaceful.

“This is not right.”


Grenades go off with plenty of noise, a bright flash and brisance, but their ability to do damage is greatly overrated, said Rich Roth, the executive director for CTI Consulting and a former U.S. Secret Service security specialist who worked in explosives and counter-espionage.

“Grenades were not made to kill, they were made to wound,” Roth said. “When a grenade goes off people are rarely killed. It’s like shooting bullets very quickly in suppression fire. They are not meant to kill but to keep the target covered.”

When a grenade detonates, the blast is rather small — measuring less than two feet. The bigger threat comes with the metal fragments that are hurled upward and outward from the blast, Roth said.

The fragments travel fast, often causing minute wounds with little to no blood, Roth said, adding that the concern with shrapnel is that it can cause internal damage. It is crucial to get to a hospital immediately.

The farther you are from the blast, the more dispersed” the fragments get, Roth said. “After 20 feet, the chances of getting struck by enough fragments that you will die is minimal.”

While the metal fragments are thrown in a violent fashion, almost any hard object can deflect them or stop them, the security consultant said.

“If you are at a restaurant, tilt the table and get down and away from it,” he said.

In regards to the grenade attacks seen in border towns, according to Roth they have not been carried out by individuals with any type of military training.

“They are not familiar with it and think that it explodes instantly or that it’s going to bite them,” Roth said. “That is why as soon as they pull the pin they throw it or roll it out of a car and drive away.”

Grenades thrown in this fashion usually don’t travel more than 10 feet after thrown, Roth said.

“They rarely go inside buildings so if you are in a restaurant, sit further back away from the door,” he said.


In the recent attacks in Matamoros, the grenade thrown at Televisa and a few others didn’t go off, but Mexican authorities still sealed off the area to defuse the explosive.

Many grenades that criminal organizations acquire are quite old, making them prone to failure, Roth said, adding that there are three main reasons why grenades don’t go off.

One of the main reasons for a grenade failing is that they are so old that the chemicals in the detonator don’t ignite correctly, he said.

Another reason is that the grenade has been stored so long that when the spoon is flipped, the spring on top of the grenade doesn’t have enough pressure to set it off.

The third reason for a grenade not going off is that a lot of them were made in South America and were not made with the same quality controls as those currently in use in other countries, Roth said.


The terroristic practice of throwing grenades is not new for the Zetas, who in previous months managed to sneak in to Reynosa and Matamoros and throw grenades in various places in an effort to create fear. One of the worst attacks took place on Valentine’s Day in 2011 when a grenade thrown by the Zetas at a busy pedestrian shopping area in downtown Matamoros injured nine civilians, including three teenagers.

Another attack took place in January 2012, when Zetas lobbed grenades at the Matamoros police station, injuring two soldiers who later died of their injuries.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Mexico; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: banglist; borderwars; grenades; matamoros; tamaulipas; zetas
“Grenades were not made to kill, they were made to wound,”

That's comforting to know./sarc

1 posted on 06/21/2012 1:14:51 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch
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To: SwinneySwitch
This should result in a crackdown on US border state gun stores where these grenades are purchased.... Wait... You can't get grenades legally in the US unless you are gooberment.

The liberal meme is stupid.


2 posted on 06/21/2012 1:25:23 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: SwinneySwitch
“Grenades were not made to kill, they were made to wound,” Roth said. “When a grenade goes off people are rarely killed. It’s like shooting bullets very quickly in suppression fire. They are not meant to kill but to keep the target covered.” When a grenade detonates, the blast is rather small — measuring less than two feet.

I'm going to correct this generous supply of misinformation. This data comes from

About the M67 Fragmentation Grenade:

•Body - steel sphere with scored steel spring for fragmentation
•Filler - 6.5 ounces of Composition B.
•Fuse - M213.
•Weight - 14 ounces.
•Safety clip - yes.
•Capabilities – The average Soldier can throw the M67 grenade 35 meters. The effective casualty producing radius is 15 meters and killing radius is 5 meters.
•Color/markings – The M67 grenade has an olive drab body with a single yellow band at the top. Markings are in yellow

A 5 meter kill radius is a fifteen foot kill radius, or a 30 foot diameter region. You can be saved by objects that interdict shrapnel.

3 posted on 06/21/2012 2:07:36 PM PDT by GingisK
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To: GingisK

Yeah, but he wouldn’t have gotten the FREE ADVERTISEMENT if he told them that he was talking about grenades from WWI.

4 posted on 06/21/2012 2:34:56 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: JRandomFreeper

....and all those automatic weapons.....oh crap, you telling me we can’t buy automatic weapons with those grenades from the American gun stores....

5 posted on 06/21/2012 2:37:08 PM PDT by Hogblog
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To: SwinneySwitch

Is this totaly inept and false description of modern grenades supposed to somehow make small the High Crimes that Obama and Holder committed giving grenades to the drug cartels of Mexico?

6 posted on 06/21/2012 2:51:16 PM PDT by Dogbert41 ("...The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God" Zech. 12:5)
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