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Cartel Chronicles: Rio Bravo Declared ‘Hot Zone’ in Cartel War

Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican border cities of Reynosa and Matamoros 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 Gulf Cartel if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “JA Espinoza” from Matamoros.

MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas – The small Mexican city of Rio Bravo has become a “Hot Zone” of warlike activity where rival cartel factions from Matamoros and Reynosa have fought fierce gun battles as they try to take over the criminal organization known as the Gulf Cartel.

Rio Bravo is just a short driving distance from the Los Indios International Bridge which connects the region with the Texas border cities of Harlingen and San Benito and is about 40 miles from the Mexican border city of Matamoros the scene of the worst fighting. Matamoros has been the scene of bloody hours-long firefights between cartel members in broad daylight and in the city’s main shopping districts despite an increased presence by military and law enforcement officials.

As recently reported by Breitbart Texas citizen journalists using social media have reported on terrorist activities by cartel hitmen who have left behind dismembered bodies along with threatening messages aimed at members of the cartel strike team known as Los Ciclones.

These gruesome acts have taken place in the communities surrounding Rio Bravo such as the communities of Lucio Blanco, Control Ramirez, Empalme and Valle Hermoso.

High ranking federal officials from the Mexican government kicked off an aggressive series of operations as part of the much debated Tamaulipas Security Strategy aimed at reducing the violence that has hurt many families on both sides of the border.

Despite the regular patrols by military convoys and helicopters along the border area, rival factions of the Metros and the Ciclones continue their fight for control and continue to set up roadblocks and sieges around those communities. As a result authorities have begun calling Rio Bravo and the surrounding communities as a Hot Zone.

The most recent shootouts have killed scores of gunmen primarily from the Matamoros faction at the hand of the group led by a man called Metro 98. He is the same person who has been extorting farmers and ranchers in the surrounding communities taking their lands and properties by force and in some cases killing them.

This hostile environment continues to run unchecked since it is out of the governments control; victims are always reluctant to file any sort of formal complaint because of the prevalent threats constantly made against them and their families.

The city of Rio Bravo has become a silent witness to the violence and continues to mute its citizens while the blood continues to spill down the streets.

En Espanol

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