During a stop at the WalMart Supercenter in Port Isabel for supplies before going out on South Padre Island, I had occasion to talk to campers about the situation along the border, in refrence to the on going war on drugs. Some of the reports were wild conjecture and some were good first hand observations. We then went on line to read what the media had to say about a shootout that happened in downtown Nuevo Progresso early last December.
I also read the local chamber of commerce's version of those events. By reading between the lines and choosing the logical middle ground between these two versions, both of which had an agenda of using the media for their own ends, I arrived at the following conclusion.
The Mexicam Army was pursuing drug dealers from out in the rural areas into the town of Progresso. The heavily armed and millitary trained narcoticos were cornered just blocks from the US border. In the following shootout the Mexican Army prevailed and the surviving narcoticos went to prison.
Believing that the mexican Army is taking the drug war to the narcoticos, we felt better about going over into Nuevo Progresso for lunch today. Here are a few photos of our lunch trip. The border plaque in the middle of the international bridge.
The official greeting station on the Mexican side.
A camo netted and sand bagged emplacement,manned by assault rifle armed Mexican Army Soldiers, one of two that face towards Mexico to keep an incident from spilling over into the US side.
The emplacements and the armored car were constantly manned all of the time we were there. Those soldiers wouldn't talk to the many hundreds of tourists that filtered by, but, instead were constantly vigilant. All weapons and Soldiers appeared to be in the "cocked, locked and ready to rock" condition.
The professional aire and demeanor of those Soldiers reassured us that this was indeed a peace keeping mission of the Mexican Army, aimed at protecting citizens of all Nationalitys.
We went to lunch and shopping feeling good about our first hand observations. We both bought a hat. Here is a look at mine.
Checked out street vendors.
And had a very nice lunch upstairs at the red snapper restaurant. We will be going back there !
Despite the wild rumors, it was a great, safe, trip. we are going back tomorrow with friends. He is a retired Navy Chief. Yeh were' gona' have a great time !