From the August 2005 Idaho Observer:

Drug-trafficking Mexican mercenaries operating in U.S.

The Associated Press reported August 1, 2005, that, "A renegade band of Mexican military deserters, offering $50,000 bounties for the assassination of U.S. law-enforcement officers, has expanded its base of operations into the United States to protect loads of cocaine and marijuana being brought into America by Mexican smugglers, authorities said."

Called "Zetas," these mercenaries were trained in the United States to be an elite force of anti-drug commandos. An estimated 200 of them have become elite commandos for Mexican narcotics traffickers and have recruited an army operating under them throughout Texas, Arizona, California and Florida.

"Many of the Zeta leaders belonged to an elite anti-drug paratroop and intelligence battalion known as the Special Air Mobile Force Group, who deserted in 1991 and aligned themselves with drug traffickers," the AP reported.

U.S. intelligence describes the Zetas as "an expanding gang of mercenaries" with "connections to the Mexican law-enforcement establishment" allowing them unfettered access throughout the southern border region.

The Zetas reportedly control the town of Nuevo Laredo, a border city of 300,000 across from Laredo, Texas. "It is the most active port-of-entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, with more than 6,000 trucks crossing daily into Texas, carrying about 40 percent of Mexico’s total exports," said the AP.

Mexican President Vicente Fox has allegedly sent in the Mexican army to retake control of the city, but has been unsuccessful.

Absent from the report were any comments from the White House concerning the clear and present danger implied when well-trained brigands offer rewards for dead U.S. law enforcement personnel.

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