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 Reynosa’s “AC Del Angel.”
The border city of Reynosa lived through a night of terror when a failed attempt to capture a Gulf Cartel commander set off a fierce shootout in one of the city’s main avenues. The shootout brought the city to a halt and terrified many families who had been out in shopping centers and restaurants to finish off their weekend.
The shootout started as a failed attempt to arrest a man known as Comandante Toro who has been described as the second in command in the for the Gulf Cartel in Reynosa. The gun battles were between cartel gunmen and Mexican federal forces which turned a calm weekend into a night of terror.
Shortly after 7:30 p.m. along the highly traveled Hidalgo Boulevard, which is one of the city’s main avenues, the shootout began. The sound of grenade explosions along with the burst of machine gun fire caused mass panic, the closing down of businesses and shopping centers with the customers inside for their protection. The actions of the local community deal with the prevention of risks — a security protocol that those who live in this border area are all too familiar with.
Several of the businesses suffered damage during the fierce gun battles which dragged on when additional cartel gunmen arrived in a convoy in a rescue operation to save the Gulf Cartel commander.
In the businesses near the scene of the shootout, customers had to drop to the floor to protect themselves from flying projectiles as AK-47’s continued to shoot while other high powered weapons rang out in the distance and grenades kept going off. The play by play of the battle was seen through citizen journalists who warned each other. The shooting was so intense that the City of Reynosa issued out an alert via social media.
Mexican authorities were forced to call for backup once they were outnumbered. Cartel gunmen spread out in separate directions in an attempt to fool the security roadblocks set up by authorities. With the help of a helicopter, Mexican authorities were able to overwhelm them and then began combing the streets searching for the fleeing gunmen.
Residents in the neighborhoods of Casa Bella, Las Cumbres, Jardines Coloniales, Las Ceibas, La Cima, Valle Alto and San Antonio remained locked inside as military and cartel members raced through their streets in fast paced shooting pursuits.
The shootout lasted about 20 minutes but its effects were felt throughout the night. Roads were closed for crime scene analysis forcing traffic to flow through various side streets leading to a chaotic commute.
The citizens who had been hiding out inside stores spent more than 40 minutes inside while they waited for things to quiet down and then unlocked the doors. Many families looking to spend a relaxing weekend in one of the city’s popular shopping centers ended up having to spend their time on the ground hoping that stray bullets did not come their way. There were some innocent bystanders hurt along with at least one injured soldier and a hitman who was arrested. As of this posting, Mexican authorities have not provided any official information regarding the case.