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 “AJ Espinoza” from Matamoros.
MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas — Kidnapping and extortion continue to hold hostage the population of the border city of Matamoros regardless of their social strata. Most recently cartel members have once again resorted to hijacking commercial buses inside the city limits and have also begun making telephone threats and extortion calls directed at the brave few citizens that have provided authorities information about the location of illegal gasoline sales.
The citizens in this border city have been left powerless since authorities have not been able to provide a response to end this scourge. Instead, the state and federal governments make many claims about improving security.
Furthermore, under threats, local media outlets have been muffled by organized crime in the border city of Matamoros. Because of this, they are not able to provide objective and timely information of the daily criminal activities that harm the public.
Since local and state authorities don’t keep credible statistics in regards to criminal complaints, the general public has become a constant target for telephone extortion and armed robberies of passenger buses which are hijacked before they leave the city.
Reports from both citizen journalist and from regular individuals who have remained anonymous out of fear claim that, in recent weeks, the many security problems in this city have worsened.
Victims say extortions and threats are made to the phone numbers used to call in tips to authorities about illegal gasoline sales. The caller makes threats of attacking the families of the tipsters who refuse to pay extortion fees or 10,000 pesos ($700) or more.
This mode of operation has left many families in anxiety since they have begun to realize that they can’t trust state authorities. This has led to many citizens refusing to provide anonymous complaints.
So far, at the start of the holiday period, at least two commercial passenger buses have been hijacked before leaving the city limits. Gunmen force the driver to pull over before climbing inside — pointing guns at the terrified passengers as they take their cash and valuables.
After ransacking the bus, the gunmen leave and soon after federal police officers arrive and escort the bus back to the Lucio Blanco bus station. They claim to investigate the case; however, Mexican authorities have yet to release any official information as to the two armed robberies.
Neither local, state, or federal authorities have provided any information as to the wave of violent crime that has kept the people from Matamoros under a cloud of fear at the hands of drug cartels operating in the border area.