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I am a consultant and analyst with eight years of military law enforcement experience, six years of analytical experience covering Latin America, and over seven years of analytical experience covering Mexican TCOs and border violence issues. This blog is designed to inform readers about current border violence issues and provide analysis on those issues, as well as detailed focus on specific border topics. By applying my knowledge and experience through this blog, I hope to separate the wheat from the chaff...that is, dispel rumors propagated by sensationalist media reporting, explain in layman's terms what is going on with Mexican TCOs, and most importantly, WHY violence is happening along the US-Mexico border.

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With over a dozen years of combined experience in military law enforcement, force protection analysis, and writing a variety of professional products for the US Air Force, state government in California, and the general public, Ms. Longmire has the expertise to create a superior product for you or your agency to further your understanding of Mexico’s drug war. Longmire Consulting is dedicated to being on the cusp of the latest developments in Mexico in order to bring you the best possible analysis of threats posed by the drug violence south of the border.

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January 27, 2011

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The US should send the BATF down to Mexico to help enact stricter gun controls so this does not happen again.

A very sad outcome for two missionaries who dedicated their whole life to helping people in Mexico. They surely must have known about the risks of driving near Reynosa ... it must be common knowledge in that area. Better planning could have helped them avoid a tragedy.

Would the Zeta's really have allowed them to pass a checkpoint - for the sake of a small bribe? I wonder. Where are the Mexican police and the Army ... when it comes to dismantling these illegal checkpoints? Nowhere to be found ... apparently.

P.

Goes to show, Americans need to keep their asses home and worry about those in need here! If Mexico wants to be a third world nation, if it's citizens aren't willing to stand up for their own rights, if it's own government won't battle the cartels... then let it burn!

Great Analysis Sylvia..I drove through Tamaulipas this past Summer, and found myself cringing everytime we had to go through a "Checkpoint"!! Is this going to be the Military or a DTO!!?

It really is the luck of the draw..also being retired from the Military, at some point in time I would not be surprised if the DTO's actually start targeting Americans connected to the Government to send a messege to "back off" in the USA's efforts in aiding the Mexican Goverment in their battle against the DTO's! What are your thoughts on that possibly happening in the future??

@Scott - I think it would backfire if the DTOs tried to send that kind of message by targeting Americans. We're already providing an unprecedented level of support, and Mexico is asking for an unprecedented amount of help. If there were ever an excuse for the Mexican government to cave and allow US personnel - whether military or contractor - the targeting of US citizens would be it. I don't think the DTOs want that to happen.

Mexico is out of control. I dont think any part is safe. I think you're gambling if you cross the border. I think if you pay a bribe, you're just asking for it, cause then they'll think you have more money and things for you will get worse. Just my thoughts. I just read an artical in the El Paso Times about and entire police force resigning because of the beheadings of two fellow officers. Will you be writing on this?

@Will - I probably won't, because there's really not much to say. There are dozens of these stories, where entire police departments (usually comprised of less than ten officers) resign because of threats or actual violence directed against their officers. It's just another fact of life in Mexico these days.

I don't think it's possible for Americans to just write off Mexico ... and hope that those troubles stay south of the border. I think that is wishful thinking. We do owe a great debt to the people of the US Border Patrol who keep us safe - but there is only so much that they can do.

The northern half of Mexico has become a "failed state". Parts of that territory are now as dangerous as towns in Iraq. I don't think it's possible for the USA to have that kind of lawlessness just south of our border, and imagine that we can stay detached up here. More likely ... we will see the same kind of crimes start to happen in the USA. More drugs. Kidnappings. Especially as this Great Recession drags on, and cities in the USA are forced to lay off policemen and emergency workers. There is a risk of disintegration of our own social fabric within America.

At this stage Mexico needs to legalize gun ownership for all its citizens. What do they have to lose? The cartels are armed to the teeth. At least they should allow the average people on the streets some chance to defend themselves.

The loss of the US missionary was tragic - because American churches have been doing so much to help people and orphanages in Mexico. There has been a lot of great humanitarian work done south of the border. Unfortunately, this incident is likely to discourage further efforts - perhaps a lot. And this will only hurt the poor citizens in Mexico even more.

P.

Sylvia thanks for the great information that you have posted regarding this terrible situation in Mexico. Your analysis is thorough and quite practical. I have travelled in Mexico estensively and I am very familiar with the Hwy. 100 corridor between the South Texas border and San Fernando. Several things that people need to know regarding this area is that it is an absolutely desolate stretch of land and was dangerous even before the cartels began warring. Traveller's must use simple common sense.

1. Simply don't go if there is not an absolute need to be there.
2. If you must go, take a bus or other form of public transportation.
3. If you take a vehicle, choose older model vehicles, maybe even an "ugly" one. You will be less of a target.
4. Update loved ones or business associates on a regular basis on your location, destination, ETA's, etc.
5. Do NOT dress in a manner that would be "flashy". This means don't wear expensvie clothing, excessive jewelry, etc. This screams MONEY and will make you a target.
6. Avoid stopping at restaurants to dine. Rather pack food for your trip.
7. Never be on the road, period, in Mexico after dark.
8. If possible travel in caravans and try to stay with traffic instead of isolating your vehicle.

It is quite obvious by now that the cartels have no regard for human life. They are growing more and more brazen in their attacks because their reign of terror has gone unchecked. If you are stopped, ran off the road, or chased, you will have to make quick decisions. It is important o know that these men are often under the influence of drugs and alcohol which adds to the volatility. Do not try to be a Hero. Do not look them in the eyes. Comply with their requests. Remember, money, vehicles, jewelry, etc. can be replaced, but as we have seen this past week, a life cannot be.

I know many missionaries in Mexico and I understand what drives and motivates them. A sense of destiny, calling, a passion, and a compassion for others compels them to do what they do in the face of these dangers. Having said that, I also believe in the use of common sense. It is not wise to tempt fate. I am quite sure that God is capable of meeting the needs of the people they are helping, and would not "fault" them in any way for taking a brief furlow from their duties until things stabilize in the country.

Your blog is very informative and factual. Thank you for shedding light on the issues at hand.

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