Here's a excerpt from my latest article for Homeland Security Today's Correspondents Watch:
"One of the worst mass killings in Mexico’s drug war history occurred on August 25 in the violence-plagued city of Monterrey. Around 3:00 PM, a dozen men in four cars pulled up in front of the Casino Royale casino lugging several gas cans with them. In less than three minutes, they doused the small casino with gasoline and set the building on fire, killing 52 people in the ensuing blaze. Some witnesses said the attackers - allegedly members of the brutal Los Zetas transnational criminal organization (TCO) - yelled at casino patrons to get out of the building. Sadly, though, most were unable to do so. Instead of heading for the casino’s exits, most patrons fled deeper into the casino and into bathrooms, where they died of smoke inhalation. Conflicting reports claimed the emergency exits were blocked. However, one report by CNN said several vetted witnesses heard grenades exploding in the casino and saw victims - including pregnant women - intentionally being gunned down by the attackers. One woman who escaped the fire told CNN one of the attackers told the patrons, “we’re going to kill all of you.” In the wake of the tragedy, Mexican President Felipe Calderón wasted no time publicly condemning the attack. But what especially perked the ears of many of the nation’s drug war observers - and likely not just a few members of the US government - was the wording he used. Calderón called the attack an “aberrant act of terror and barbarity.” His National Security spokesman, Alejandro Poiré, bluntly stated that “an act of terrorism has been committed.” But was the Casino Royale attack a true “act of terror”? If the Mexican government believes TCOs are committing acts of terrorism, what does that imply for its drug war strategy - and that of the US government?"
To read the full article at HSToday.us, please CLICK HERE!