No more PD in Nuevo Laredo, just martial law for now

Photo credit: National Geographic website

Holy guacamole! If you thought Nuevo Laredo was fregado, looks like they are actually fregadisisimos… Nuevo Laredo may not call it martial law but that is what was put in place as of last night when soldiers replaced the local police force. But this is not just in Nuevo Laredo, it is the whole state of Tamaulipas (see story in

Reader Jorge sent me this message:

acabo de ir a Nuevo Laredo y me entero que no hay un sólo policía municipal patrullando la cuidad, el ejercito tomó el mando de la seguridad. 200 soldados llegaron ayer a la cuidad y tienen acuartelados a los policías municipales mientras se investigan (se les harán pruebas físicas, de drogas, de “confianza”) La seguridad de la cuidad está completamente al mando del ejercito mexicano.

For my monolingual readers is states something along the lines of, “I just went to Nuevo Laredo and I found out there is not one single municipal (more like county, not city) police officer patrolling the city of Nuevo Laredo. The army has taken control of security. 200 soldiers arrived to the city yesterday and they have all the local police officers in custody (they will be given physical tests, drug tests and a test in ethics [how is beyond me]). The security of the city is completely under the watch of the Mexican army.”

I also received this news release from El Mañana regarding the situation. Some of you may have watched yesterday’s press event that gathered all the presidentes of the municipios of Tamaulipas and security heads in preparation for a new model for law enforcement throughout the state.

What is the problem, you ask? Well, in some ways, you have non-cartel influenced folks coming in from the army to play the role of law enforcement. Unfortunately, they are not the best trained, are usually very young (nothing wrong with youth but experience makes a difference) and there have been many complaints because of abuses committed by soldiers. Of course, some state that it is the cartels who are pressuring people to complain against the federal soldiers.

On the other rotten hand, many suspect that Nuevo Laredo’s police force has been corrupt no matter how much “clean-up” has occurred. Many talk about some police officers being in cahoots with certain cartels. The crimes go beyond asking for a mordida (a bribe) which… come to think of it, I have not been asked for one in a loooong time. Regardless, some people are afraid of the local police. Who knows who to believe.

Bottom line, Nuevo Laredo doesn’t seem to be able to win one way or the other. By the looks of it, though, the state is developing a better trained, better screened state police force around August (I hope I understood that correctly. The new requirements for state police are even online). It’s incredibly sad that the majority of the good and honest people of Nuevo Laredo have to fear not only the cartels but police officers and the military soldiers coming in – hopefully it really is temporary.

I know it is hard for those who don’t live in los dos Laredos to understand but being on the US side still gives me some peace of mind. Yes, I can hear the gunfire and explosions late at night but I don’t fear getting shot or blown to bits. I cringe, not from fear but from sadness for the state of Mexico while it is being terrorized by cartels and for the insatiable demand for drugs in the USA.

Only a small river separates Laredo from the bullets of Nuevo Laredo. I can only hope peace finds its way to our sister city soon and that I can sleep without hearing gunshots in the distance.


About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to
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9 Responses to No more PD in Nuevo Laredo, just martial law for now

  1. stxparrothead says:

    Ugh! Hope the streets stay safe, JB has been out of town & gets back tomorrow so I can quiz him after work on on Friday to see what those “in the know” say…

  2. Poncho1950 says:

    1. People in El Otro generally have more faith in the Army than in the police; they call the police about drug activity in their neighborhood and nothing happens. They they call the Army and the troops show up, run out the dealers, and tranquility returns. (This is a retelling of a story I heard from a woman who lives in El Otro, and this happened in her neighborhood.)

    2. Media are generally cowed by the willingness of the cartels to attack the press. Hence the poor coverage.

  3. Thank you for your post. I pray this exercise works to help keep both sides safe. Keep us posted (literally) and I’m glad you feel safe as well!

  4. ___turista "mericano" says:

    ___whenever they “create” a new police force, all they do is change the uniforms, the lettering on the police cars, and voila, a new Police force

    ___what about the Policia Turistica ? Are they still there ? I went across yesterday y couldn’t find nobody to give me directions to the “hot spots”.

    ___come to think of it, it was raining so all the action had to be indoor

  5. skeptical says:

    other than this weird 7 dias website, has anyone spoken to any high up sources? i mean, i know it wouldn’t be on the record, but at least it would be some attempt to verify. i guess we can see if other cities in tamaulipas are experiencing these same rumors.

    • Que Fregados says:

      Uh, the link to El Mañana, the announcements over the radio, almost every major Tamaulipas newspaper… maybe because it is not happening in the US, it doesn’t make US news (although I am told there is a story in the Laredo Morning Times today).

      But I shouldn’t assume you speak Spanish – if you did a search for Tamaulipas security in Spanish, you would see multiple stories. if you watch the video, it is a discussion about security issues. The state of Tamaulipas website has an explanation, this was actually planned. They list which “municipios” were going to be under martial law as of yesterday at midnight.

  6. skeptical no more says:

    ok, i’ve read reynosa’s paper and it dose confirm that troops are going to several cities. the spin is that all 3 levels of government are working together. especially b/c police officers need to go take a “test of confidence” but they will be back. the troops brought their own weapons and were instructed in what streets they were going to patrol.

    check out this link:

  7. Pingback: Mexican troops invade america??? « The STR

  8. seguros says:

    Yo estoy navegando por la red y tengo que decir este es seguro uno de las entradas que más dudas me ha resuelto.

    Me alegra que haya gente dispuesta a ayudar

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