HOUSTON, Texas–As four Mexican federal police officers patrolled a highway just south of Reynosa on Thursday, they were ambushed by a group of gunmen. Three officers were injured and one was killed as a result of the attack.
A convoy of cartel members in numerous SUVs ambushed the police officers on a rural strip of highway, according to Ildefonso Ortiz of the Monitor. Shortly after the attack, Mexican authorities reportedly responded by airlifting the wounded officers to a nearby hospital for medical attention.
Tamaulipas, the Mexican state where the incident occurred, has “always been a focal point in the drug war, one of the busiest places on the border for northbound drugs and migrants and southbound weapons and cash,” according to the Associated Press. The city of Reynosa, which is in the northern part of Tamaulipas, is directly across the Rio Grande River from Hidalgo, Texas.
Each day, thousands of migrants–mostly minors from Central America–continue to enter the U.S. each day after passing through Reynosa. The Rio Grande Border Patrol sector alone apprehends more than 1,000 illegal immigrants each day.
Thursday’s shootings followed an incident in early May, when Salvador de Haro Munoz, the chief investigator in Tamaulipas, died after a gun battle with gang members. Three marines and one military officer were also said to be wounded during the same gun fight.
Breitbart Texas reported on a series of violent incidents in late April that occurred in Reynosa. Several shootouts that month left at least 17 dead. The deaths were allegedly the result of infighting between Gulf Cartel members. The Gulf Cartel is known to be heavily involved in a myriad of illegal activities including human trafficking and drug smuggling.
More immigrants enter the U.S. illegally from Tamaulipas than from anywhere else along the border; this makes the Mexican state attractive to drug traffickers, smugglers, and cartel members. U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela told the AP, “The fact is right now the federal government response in Tamaulipas is nowhere near what it needs to be.”
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