Monday, September 11, 2006

Assassinated Monterrey cop was key US ally against cartels

Plata o Plomo. Money or Lead. That's the choice routinely offered to Mexican police charged with enforcing the drug war. "Plata" literally means silver, so the phrase has the added sense of coercing betrayal - of Judas turning against Christ for 30 silver pieces.

The Mexican state of Nuevo Leon's top organized crime investigator, Marcelo Garza y Garza, apparently rejected la plata, and last week he died a hero's death. The SA Express News' Sean Matteson had more yesterday on his assassination in Monterrey, which Grits discussed earlier:
Marcelo Garza y Garza [was] a respected cop and key Mexican ally of U.S. law enforcement.

Until Tuesday, Garza, 36, had been the only chief of Nuevo León state's organized crime investigations division.

He worked closely with the U.S. war on drug gangs and, unlike many police officers executed by the cartels, he doesn't appear — so far — to have had illicit links to the bad guys he loved to throw in jail.

"Marcelo was by far our closest collaborator and most trusted confidant," a senior U.S. official said on condition of anonymity. ...

"This is no longer ... a war between (cartels) and executions between them," said Gov. Natividad González Parás. "They have now put government functionaries in their sights."

State authorities appear in a paralytic shock over Garza's execution. Officials reinforced their personal security and refused to discuss details of the killing with the media.

Scary news from our southern neighbor: talk about the "Colombianization" of Mexico! I encourage you to read the whole story, and give a prayer for the family of Marcelo Garza.

UPDATE: Beyond the Border blog reports Sept. 12 that another police officer has been killed in Nuevo Leon.

For more background on organized crime in Mexico, see Sam Logan's April reports from ISN Security Watch ("Mexico's Parallel Power," 4-7-06 and "Organized Crime: Mexico's Top Threat," 4-26-06), plus prior Grits posts on the subject:


Manas said...


Jason said...

I see this as an example of criminals having too much power. The power these cartels have should make it apparent just how corrupt the Mexican federal government is.

Anonymous said...


Do you realize OUR POLICIES are what gives these cartels their power? Just as in our own country our policies have guaranteed the criminals will AND STILL ARE controlling every aspect of the drug world, FACT!

Your own government will give you in writing information stating, even after 40+ years and a TRILLION DOLLARS later. With more people behind bars THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY. The criminals STILL control the purity, quantity, price AND AGE LIMIT!!! You want to talk about corruption, you would do well to look right here at home!!

I invite you to our website at, watch the 12 minute video on the home page. And then respond!

There Has Got To Be A Better Way!

Rusty White