Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Border Battle and What to Believe

I have a Google Alert for Nuevo Laredo. I get everything that pops up about the city including blogs. These alerts make you think that there is a constant gun battle going on in Nuevo Laredo because every incident is written about and blogged about over and over and over even days after it happened. I could just stop the Alert but we have to drive through Nuevo Laredo if we drive back to Texas and I want to know what is happening there.

Recently the Nuevo Laredo alerts lit up with the news that two ranches near Laredo had been taken over by the Zetas but the news sources were blogs and on-line publications. Supposedly the government was keeping this invasion of the United States of America quiet. But can the government keep FOX and CNN from sniffing around at any story that might help fill up their 24/7 need for news. When Anderson Cooper didn't show up on some South Texas road within about six hours with a bullet proof vest to interview the ranch owners who had been kicked off their land, I figured that it was a hoax.

No one in any government jurisdiction would confirm the invasion of the Zetas but that did not stop the Cypress Times, a christian, conservative on-line publication, from continuing to send out reports. Several days after this Zeta take over was refuted, they still ran a story about it but they at least by that time were saying that they could not confirm the story but their eye-witness reporter was still standing by what he wrote....and they published the whole thing again.

I have gotten better at censoring the alerts. If it is from the Cypress Times, I'm probably not going to read it. Sometimes things are repeated over and over and over. Did these four bodies just show up or are they the same four bodies that were reported on five days ago. I'll read a border blog a time or two but if I get a sense that they are very biased, I'll stop reading them. I don't twitter but I understand that the twitters on the border situation have become a gumbo mix of truths, lies and exaggerations, so that would not be a reliable way to know what is happening.

The Mexican newspapers and TV stations can not be relied on because the cartels have managed to terrorize the Mexican media especially along the border so that it seems that they can dictate the news that gets published. The loss of a free press anywhere in Mexico is a terrible threat to Mexico's democracy.

Some of the sources that I'm following are:
The Laredo and San Antonio news reports about Nuevo Laredo
On Facebook: Nuevo Laredo Tamaulipas
Blog:  I really don't have one to recommend. News and rumors get blogged and reblogged so many times that I can't sort out fact from fiction. I do read Que Fregados from Laredo. She writes mostly about Laredo but at times when she recounts hearing guns and explosions from across the river, the post is thoughtful.
Yahoo Groups: The Civil List here in San Miguel. People often report about their drive to and from Texas. Most say that they had no problems but often enough to be worrisome someone will report problems. In the past is was about being stopped for a "traffic violation" but recently it is taking a bit uglier turn...being stopped by eight "policemen" and a knife planted in the car so that the mordita became a much larger sum. Being chased at high speed by a strangely marked police car. And reports outside the Civil List of car hijackings.
United States Travel Warnings - especial when they are a local report from Nuevo Laredo or Monterrey.

The situation in Nuevo Laredo and all along the border is terrible. You don't know what is really happening because the news is censored, muddled and many times biased toward different political agendas on both sides of the border. Do you have a news source or blog that you trust?


Gloria said...

My friend Idalia lives in Laredo. She hasn't been posting lately probably because it's summer. Here is her link in case you'd like to ask her. http://chroniclesofyaya.blogspot.com/

It is scary. Be careful.

Cynthia said...

Billie, I think your Facebook link is a very good one. If you go to their info page and click on the URL link to their website, they have a Twitter page as well. It's very concise, since there are no responding comments there. All you see is the updates on city and road conditions.

All has been quite today. Good news for the people of Nuevo Laredo.

tlorenz said...

I would also recommend Mexconnect forum. There is one poster in particular who goes by Altahabana. He lives in NL and crosses to Laredo, TX every day for his job. He is honest forthright, and intelligent in his posts about the many frightening things going on at the border. You may also find his posts helpful.

Que Fregados said...

Thank you for linking to my little blog! I am honored. This is the post I had written for the 2 ranches being taken over: http://quefregados.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/bp-more-believable-than-the-diggers-realm-blog/

I have also used Mexconnect for info when I used to travel back & forth to Mexico from the US. I was also able to find quite a bit of info from virtualtourist.com - even when traveling to San Miguel de Allende.

Keep up the blogging - San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful treasure.

Babs said...

Idon't read any blogs or news accounts but cross at Columbia which is 30 miles west of Nuevo Laredo when leaving the country. Upon reentering, I cross about 7AM and hope everyone is worn out from the night befores activities and is still asleep. In all the years of crossing into NL, I've never seen anything. I have had two times when guys standing on the side of the road tried to get me to stop. I presume they want money. I just keep the windows up
and keep driving. No mas problemas. Actually, for me, it is less of a hassle then flyling, which has become increasingly aggravating....as I wrote in my post today.

tlorenz said...

Altahabana on Mexconnect (who lives in Nuevo Laredo) says Colombia Bridge is Zeta territory. There are many things going on along that route we don't hear about. He also says Mexicans from Monterrey would never go that way because it is too remote and too dicey for safety. We used to go that way but it felt so creepy the last time, we switched to Nuevo Laredo to cross back into Texas.

Mexico Cooks! said...

You might like to start reading Borderland Beat, a blog that pretty much tells it like it is along the border. I read it regularly and trust it more than any other border news source.

Here's the link: