Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas and Coahuila 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 various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written byMatamoros’ “JA Espinoza” and Breitbart Texas’ Ildefonso Ortiz.
MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas — With the loud sounds of gunfire as convoys of gunmen clashed with authorities is how the residents of this border city were forced to celebrate Epiphany which is also known as the visit of the Three Magi. As customary, Tamaulipas officials released basic information that does not match with the actual events as the official version is only a fraction of what actually happened.
In Mexico, the Epiphany celebration carries great significance since in some areas of the country, the Magi are the ones who bring toys for the children and not Santa Claus. However, in Matamoros, the day of the Epiphany was welcomed with fierce clashes between Gulf Cartel members and Mexican authorities.
Ironically, the fighting took place just hours before Tamaulipas Governor Egidio Torre Cantu was set to arrive to the regular Security Council meeting where public officials praise empty victories in the fight against organized crime.
Law enforcement sources consulted by Breitbart Texas confirmed that the shootouts began shortly after 3 a.m. in the western side of the city along the rural road known as Brecha 30 which is near the Sendero Nacional Avenue.
The gunfire soon spread to the neighborhoods known as Palmares, Las Brisas, San Felipe, Vamos Tamaulipas and others as the convoys of cartel gunmen clashed with Mexican soldiers. Non-stop machine gun fire and explosions along with screeching tires is what neighbors reported hearing during the early morning hours.
The area where the brunt of the fighting took place is near the Sendero Nacional highway. This is one of the main entry points into Matamoros that is used by members of organized crime. The area is heavily guarded by cartel members since the Gulf Cartel continues to go through an internal conflict that has placed the leadership of the organization in Matamoros at odds with the leadership in Reynosa.
The fighting went on for about three hours until Mexican authorities were able to run off the cartel members. Shortly after the fighting authorities seized three vehicles that they took to the headquarters of Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR) in Matamoros.
The three bullet ridden vehicles that authorities seized included a Buick Enclave, a Chevrolet Tahoe and a Dodge Nitro
Hours after the shootouts, the Tamaulipas government issued a statement claiming that a convoy of soldiers had come under attack along Brecha 30 at around 5:45 p.m. by a group of gunmen in a Dodge Nitro. The troops fought off the attack and chased the vehicle until it crashed into a dirt mound. Officially the fighting left one cartel gunmen dead. The information released by the state does not mention the multiple other areas where the three hour gun battle took place. The official information also makes no mention of the two other vehicles that authorities took to the PGR headquarters.
Despite the many assurances made by the government, the wave of kidnappings targeting innocent civilians by the Gulf Cartel continues in full force. The most recent case deals with the attempted kidnapping of the son of a local restaurateur with interest in the Buen Hogar restaurant. Cartel gunmen followed the victim to his house where they tried to kidnap him, but the victim managed to escape. The angry gunmen shot at the victim but did not hit him.