CIUDAD MIER, Tamps. — Hundreds of families have fled this Pueblo Magico amid reported death threats from drug cartel thugs.
About 300 people are seeking shelter in nearby Miguel Alemán, the nearest city to this town across the border from western Starr County.
Sources said after Cárdenas’ slaying Friday, members of Los Zetas, the drug cartel controlling Mier, were yelling in the streets that they were going to kill everybody who remained in the town, sparking the exodus from town.
“Initially it was 30 people, but then went up to 60, 100 and now we have 300 that came here,” Miguel Alemán Mayor Servando Lopez Moreno said in Spanish.
“There is not a house that doesn’t have broken windows,” said a native of Ciudad Mier living in Reynosa.
“The authorities do not go there. There are no soldiers there. There is nobody,” the former Mier resident said. “The mayor is not there anymore, there is no police, no traffic authority — nobody. It’s a ghost town. All the businesses are closed. If you want an aspirin, you have to travel to Miguel Alemán, and by bus, because if you drive they take away your car.”
“They have strangulated my town.”
To my knowledge the evacuation of Ciudad Mier is the first case of mass migration prompted by cartel strong-arming. I will be surprised if it is the last. While media coverage of these events is near non-existent, they should be a matter of grave concern for every citizen of the Republic. The day border communities cannot support the number of refugees created by the cartels’ insurgency is the day narco refugees begin streaming north of the border.