Border Crisis

Mexican Government, Media Silent as Shootouts, Kidnappings Plague Border City

Mexico’s government continues to suppress information about the raging cartel violence that plagues one of its main border cities. The lack of information is further worsened by a gag order of sorts placed by organized crime on local news outlets in the city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas.

Despite appearing to be peaceful on the surface, Matamoros has a long history of being controlled by the Gulf Cartel, which can carry out multiple crimes for its own benefit with complete impunity. Since last weekend, Matamoros has witnessed various shootouts and blockades in different parts of the city. Other than a few obscure social media posts shared by local authorities, no tangible information about the shootouts has been released. Similarly, the highway that connects Matamoros with the central part of the state has seen several kidnappings that have been ignored by government officials and local news alike.

On Wednesday afternoon, cartel gunmen and federal authorities clashed on the city’s southwest side. The short clash led to a series of roadblocks as gunmen tried to slow down authorities during their escape.

That clash comes just days after Mexican National Guardsmen tried to capture a leading cartel figure in an operation that turned into a clash and a series of blockades set up by gunmen. For the blockades, cartel gunmen stole several trucks at gunpoint and parked them across several main avenues as a way to keep police forces from moving about the area. Since then, government officials have only released short social media statements saying the roads are all clear. No information has been released about the nature of the operation or if any arrests took place.

In a similar fashion, on April 13, a group of gunmen believed to be with a faction of Los Zetas raided a restaurant near the town of Abasolo, Tamaulipas, along the highway that connects Matamoros with the central part of the state. During that raid, the gunmen kidnapped two men who have not been heard from again. State officials have remained tightlipped about the case, and local news outlets have largely ignored the issue.

The silence from the government comes at a time when Mexico is undergoing a hotly contested presidential election. Numerous exposés from several national and international news outlets have linked several top government officials to organized crime and various acts of corruption.

Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to Mexico City and the states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities.  The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and their original Spanish. This article was written by “J.A. Espinoza” and “J.C. Sanchez” from Tamaulipas. 

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