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 Matamoros’ “JA Espinoza.”
MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas – What was supposed to be a regular school day ended up turning into a tragedy in this border city for a family caught in the crossfire. A stray bullet fired by cartel gunmen caused an 8-year-old boy to be listed as brain dead.
UPDATE: The young boy in this article has since died from his injuries.
“Everything happened so fast and confusing, I heard the shots but didn’t know where they were coming from I just told the children to get down; but the curious young one wanted to see what was happening and the fatality occurred,” the boy’s father Baltazar Medina said as he choked back tears during an interview with Breitbart Texas.
Medina’s 8-year-old son Kevin Baltazar Medina Lopez is tied to a respirator after doctors listed him as suffering from brain death which resulted from a gunshot wound to the head during a shootout in Matamoros this week.
Showing concern and sadness on his face, Medina shared bits and pieces about the events of that day which have scarred him for life. The Medina family has now been added to the list of innocent victims hurt by organized crime in the ongoing war that people along the border live.
The shooting took place as suspected cartel gunmen fired at Mexican soldiers along Cavazos Lerma Avenue and 16th Street, just mere blocks from a local TV station that, as Breitbart Texas previously reported, has been the target of grenade attacks.
The bullet went in through the front windshield of the car. The boy had been riding in the middle and, next to him, his sister sustained a facial injury, the father said.
“I don’t know the results at the moment, I am waiting for the results to know more, the only thing I care about is my son but the doctors are not giving us any hope,” he said.
The young boy is currently listed in intensive care at the “Alfredo Pumarejo” General Hospital under a disheartening prognosis due to the extensive damage caused by the bullet.
According to Medina, he was driving the family car to the afternoon school for his four children when, at around 1:05 p.m., they heard the shots and he immediately told the children to get down.
THE OFFICIAL VERSION
The Tamaulipas government issued a statement regarding the shooting in which they explain that a group of organized crime members attacked a Mexican military convoy and the bullets struck a private vehicle with innocent victims inside.
As a result of the attack, a seven-year-old boy (the family confirmed that the boy is eight-years-old) was struck by a bullet in the head, while his 13-year-old sister and father were not harmed.
A Nissan Murano with armed civilians was travelling down 16th Street and when they noticed the military personnel along Periferico Street they believed the gunmen were after them and began ramming vehicles in an effort to get away, at the same time they fired at the military troops with the aforementioned results.
Because of the high traffic in that area particularly at the time, the Mexican military did not return fire in an attempt to not injure innocent bystanders.
As part of the security protocols that are kept with this case and since it deals with a crime involving gunmen and federal police forces, details have been minimal.
Jose Antonio Alfaro Caballero, the director of the hospital said that since the case deals with an extraordinary situation he lost jurisdiction as to release public information about the condition of the child who has been in critical condition for more than 30 hours.
He stated that since his authority to provide information as to the case was taken away, any new developments would be provided through the state health department via news releases.
“We have relayed to the health department every step and action taken in this case and it will be through the state government that information will be sent out,” Alfaro said.
THE REALITY ALONG THE BORDER
After the tragic incident that took place in this border city, parents interviewed by Breitbart Texas acknowledged the difficult security conditions that they must endure along the border, where violent shootouts can spark at any moment injuring innocent bystanders who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Our children go to school, they travel the streets of Matamoros and it is so sad for this to happen; that an innocent family is going through such a sad situation,” Jose Ernesto Garcia, a Matamoros resident said.
“The families in Matamoros try to live everyday a regular life but we know that outside only God’s blessing can keep our children safe so they can come home at night,” Garcia said.
“The anxiety is felt in every home over this situation that does not stop and where nobody is exempt from the danger when authorities and armed civilians clash along this border,” he said.