I was recently on a conference call with Texas ranchers Dr. Mike and Linda Vickers. Dr. Vickers made the short comment that I-10 is now controlled by drug cartels. It made such an impact on me that I called my Texas friends who are readying to travel I-10 to Palm Desert, California. She acknowledge that in recent past trips they have noticed strange people walking the highway, and a presence of border patrol that they had not noticed before, especially on the long stretch of I-10 through Texas. Today, Dr. Vicker’s assessment has been confirmed. Mannequins were found hanging from two billboards that were not “paid-for” advertising. The message: ‘accept bribes or die.’
Local station KHOU reports that one of the signs reads ‘Plata o Plombo’ which translates to ‘silver or lead’, a threat used commonly against police officers effectively warning that if they do not accept the cartel’s bribes then they will be shot.
The first vandalized billboard off I-10 had Plata o Plomo in large black letters which translates into silver or lead. It is usually a warning targeting police or government officials in Mexico. The warning: work with a cartel and take a bribe or get a bullet.
The hanging mannequin was dressed in a suit and tie.
“This symbol has historically been used by Mexican drug cartels to threaten or intimidate Mexican citizens, business owners and government officials; however, we have never experienced this in El Paso,” said police in a statement released to media.
“Maybe the problems in Juarez are coming over here,” said Javier Padilla, an El Paso resident.
“Oh, that’s horrible,” said Maria Ramos, his wife looking at a photograph of a stuffed hanging mannequin.
Two of her relatives were murdered across the border in Ciudad Juarez in 2009. Real bodies have been found hanging from overpasses in that Mexican city. Source: KHOU – Houston, Texas
The second mannequin sent a different message, ‘turn in a drug lord for a monetary reward, and you will die.’ Note this mannequin is dressed in jeans.
For more from the Vickers conference call (truly startling stuff) see here and here, and visit the organization they founded, the Texas Border Volunteers for more information on what’s happening on your southern border.
Please remember Marine Andrew Tahmooressi in your prayers. The 25-year-old has been held in a Mexican jail for two months after taking a wrong turn and landing across the Mexico border. Pray for his swift release.
If the video disappears or will not play, view it here.
Video report on busy drug cartels sending messages, ‘cooperate or die’