Small Wars Journal

Sniper Executes a Police Chief of Nuevo Leon with a .50 Caliber Rifle (Translation)

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 8:30am


This significant incident was brought to my attention by the reporter Chivis with Borderland Beat. He also provided the translations. This may very well be the first targeted assassination of a Mexican public safety official by a sniper utilizing a .50 cal rifle (possibly a Barrett but this is speculation). The standoff range was reported to be 60 meters which is about 66 yards away. This is the distance where a tripod (e.g. tripié del fusil—this is likely in error as a bipod would typically be utilized— but it was left behind so the stabilization device is in question) was found abandoned along with a shell casing—which possibly suggests a lower level of training and/or the immediate need to escape and evade pursuers. The sniper may have been in a prone firing position as the items were reported found in vacant lot near the Commander’s home. The target was hit in the back with the lot providing a clear line of site to the parking and/or door of the residence. Of interest is that Chivis had interviewed me about Mexican cartel weaponry employment patterns in December 2012. The use of 50 cal. sniper rifles was briefly discussed in the interview. See

Francotirador ejecuta con fusil calibre .50 a mando policiaco de Nuevo León


19 DE FEBRERO DE 2013 


MONTERREY, N.L. (apro).- El comandante de la Agencia Estatal de Investigaciones, Gustavo Gerardo Garza Saucedo, fue ejecutado esta madrugada por un francotirador que utilizó un fusil de bala calibre .50 para dispararle cuando llegaba a su casa en Apodaca, 20 kilómetros al nororiente de la capital, informó hoy la Procuraduría de Nuevo León.

Translation: MONTERREY, N.L. (apro).- The commander of the State Investigation Agency, Gustavo Gerardo Garza Saucedo, was executed this early morning by a sniper using a .50 caliber rifle  to shoot him when he arrived  home in Apodaca, 20 kilometers northwest of the capital, reported today by the Prosecutor of Nuevo Leon.

For the Spanish article see


Dr. Bunker

I have a blog that studies counter-insurgency and guerilla warfare, particularly as it relates to the Cartel Wars along the borderand in Mexico proper.

I have started a series called Cartel Tactics and will be using a large amount of your articles from SWJ in this series as a study launching point.

Just wanted to let you know as a courtesy and I really appreciate everything you do.

Steven F.

Robert J. Bunker

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 5:02pm

One or more earlier incidents now appear to have taken place. I have a research assistant on it and at some point in the future we hope to provide either an update or tactical note on this Mexican cartel capability.