Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cartel Threats, Attacks on US Law Enforcement and the Question of ‘Spill Over’ Violence

The attack on ICE agents Zapata and Avila - in which Zapata was killed - on February 16, and the apparent attempted attack on a DEA agent in Cuidad Juarez a week later, provoked an unprecedented influx of federal agents into Mexico to assist their Mexican counterparts to investigate these assaults. As more robust and effective US counter-drug and counter-cartel operations by Border Patrol, CBP, ICE, DEA, federal-led task forces, the National Guard and state and local police have increased, there’s been a parallel escalation of assaults and murders of US officials – and Americans - in Mexico. The high-profile assault on Zapata and Avila is widely believed by both US and Mexican authorities to have been the work of the notorious Los Zetas Cartel. It was an attack some authorities believe signaled a possible watershed change in anti-US aggression south of the border. Possibly. The attackers’ modus operandi (MO) in the attack on the two ICE agents was repeated a week later in an apparently failed attack on a DEA agent. But more alarming than that, the same MO was employed north of the border in an attack on the streets of Peoria, Ariz. on the afternoon of April 8 against a state undercover police officer...more

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