Friday, April 01, 2011

‘A rampant war just south of our border'

Graphic surveillance videos of Mexican drug cartels were shown to House lawmakers Thursday, while their counterparts in the Senate were given an account of an all-out assault on the Southwest border — attacks that range from gangs using boats and tunnels to a catapult used to hurl duffel bags of marijuana into the U.S. The vivid testimony and images were presented at separate congressional hearings convened to review border security and aid to Mexico that would help combat cartels striking out against the military and law enforcement. “There are few threats as deadly and menacing than that posed by drug gangs, particularly Mexican drug gangs, operating near our border,” said Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. and chairman of the Senate Homeland Security subcommittee on intergovernmental affairs. Lawmakers on the House Homeland Security subcommittee on investigations were privately shown videotapes of Los Zetas and Gulf cartel members carrying out attacks in Camargo, Tamaulipas and Juárez. In one tape, cartel members use grenade launchers and assault rifles with military precision to take over a roadside checkpoint in Camargo, across the border from Rio Grande City. The heavily armed men take prisoner three people who were later killed and beheaded, a congressional source said, to send a message the cartel wanted a cut of the fees collected at the checkpoint...more

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