Earlier today I posted about the murder of an American citizen by Mexican pirates on the Falcon Lake reservoir, which spans the U.S.-Mexican border.
A reader passes along this story from the San Antonio Express-News (originally published in the Houston Chronicle) from June:
An alleged plot by a Mexican drug cartel to blow up a dam along the Texas border — and unleash billions of gallons of water into a region with millions of residents — sent American police, federal agents and local disaster officials scrambling last month to thwart such an attack, authorities confirmed Wednesday.
Whether the cartel, which is known to have stolen bulk quantities of gunpowder and dynamite, could have taken down the five-mile-long Falcon Dam may never be known.
But it may have been derailed by a stepped-up presence by the Mexican military, acting in part on intelligence from the U.S. government, sources said.
As with most cartel violence, this was not ideological in nature, but directed at rival cartels:
The warning was based on what the federal government contends were “serious and reliable sources” and prompted the Homeland Security Department to sound the alarm to first responders all along the South Texas-Mexico border.
Mexico’s Zeta cartel was planning to destroy the dam not to terrorize civilians, but to get back at its rival and former ally, the Gulf cartel, which controls smuggling routes from the reservoir to the Gulf of Mexico, Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez and others familiar with the alleged plot said.
Destroying the dam, however, also would have flooded large areas of agricultural land, as well as significant parts of a region with about 4 million border residents in Texas and Mexico.
Another reminder that our issues with Mexico go a little deeper than a few people who want to come here to work and make sure our lettuce is cheap and we don’t have to mow our own lawns.