There’s been a sudden increase in violence along the Mexico border these last few days. A great deal moreso than usual. A “running gun battle in Valle Hermoso” left 5 people dead yesterday. The running count is around 17 dead since this Sunday.

Things got real ugly when the Mexican military surrounded a grade school yesterday. A grade school! The surprise “Mexican navy raid Thursday in which about 500 sailors surrounded an area near two of Reynosa’s biggest schools….The naval commandos were reportedly pursuing Miguel “Zeta 40” Treviño Morales, second-in-command of the Zetas who oversaw the operations of the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas — collectively known as “The Company” — in Veracruz and Nuevo Laredo….The hysteria shut down much of Reynosa on Thursday, when schools dismissed early and businesses closed their doors across the city. On Saturday, banners were found hanging from pedestrian bridges across Reynosa stating in Spanish that the city is safe and assuring residents that “nothing is happening and nothing will happen.”

Yeah, those signs should be enough to calm everyone down. Thanks guys.

The reason for all this violence? “Los Zetas, once the armed enforcement wing of the Gulf Cartel, are rumored to be staging a coup for control of the Reynosa plaza, one of the busiest and most important transport routes for drugs bound for the United States, federal officials said.”

I’ve taken a keen interest in these kinds of power struggles as I currently live about 10 minutes from the border in any direction (well, except North.) If something goes down, I would be at ground zero.

You can read about it in detail at the Valley’s newspaper THE MONITOR with a followup story here.

The FoxRio news article about the recent violence is here.

The KRGV news article about the recent violence is here.

And here’s the CNN article on the renewed travel alert to Mexico.

You can also check out the more informative but all-Spanish news clip at Telemundo40 titled “Alerta Màxima en Mèxico”. (I would embed it here, but the whole sidebar is flash based.)