Amid regular firefights, Mexican border cities under siege
August 26th 2012 · 8 Comments
As Mexico’s brutal drug cartels continue to battle for control of lucrative trafficking routes, residents of border cities like Reynosa and Matamoros continue to be held hostage by the continued threat of violence.
While the PGJE confirmed a Monday firefight in central Tamaulipas that left 11 dead and another slaying in a Tuesday firefight in Matamoros, the agency has not released any information about two separate firefights this week in Reynosa.
The firefights come after a renewed internal struggle within the Gulf Cartel as two of its factions fight for control. The clash has become even more volatile as their rival the Zetas continue to control key parts of Tamaulipas and regularly make incursion into Reynosa and Matamoros.
The information released by PGJE regarding the Tuesday firefight in Matamoros came hours after the U.S. Consulate there had sent out various alerts as the firefight was unfolding.
While the PGJE confirmed that a 25-year-old gunman was killed during the clash in the Puerto Rico neighborhood, the agency didn’t mention three other gunmen and a Mexican marine that were also killed in the clash, a Tamaulipas law enforcement official said, requesting anonymity for safety concerns.
Calls last week to the PGJE seeking comment have not been returned.
On Wednesday and Thursday, clashes between the Mexican military and gunmen took place in various parts of Reynosa, including industrial parks near the Pharr International Bridge, the law enforcement official said.
On Friday and Saturday, convoys of gunmen have been seen through Reynosa’s main avenues, where they play a hide-and-seek game of sorts with the military.
However, law enforcement officials on both sides of the border confirm that no firefights have taken place in Reynosa.
Neither the U.S. Consulate nor the PGJE issued any alerts about the firefights in Reynosa or the cartel clash.
A version of this column originally appeared in www.themonitor.com.
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