REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — The popular holiday period known as Holy Week led to a spike in cartel violence in this border city. The fighting between rival factions of the Gulf Cartel and clashes with authorities led to 24 deaths over 11 days in and around the holiday period.
The violence dramatically escalated on March 24 as many families prepared to travel for Holy Week vacations until April 3, when bloodshed slightly subsided. Traditionally, Holy Week yields minimal violence thanks to Mexican authorities’ flooding highways and tourist destinations with personnel.
However this year, Breitbart Texas documented the deaths of three innocent bystanders, 11 cartel gunmen, seven narco-executions, and two dismembered bodies dumped in burlap sacks.
The violence in Reynosa continues to be a result of a fierce war for territorial control between two rival factions of the Gulf Cartel. Clashes for lucrative drug trafficking and human smuggling routes can feature convoys of gunmen in SUVs. When forces meet, the standoffs lead to lengthy gun battles until Mexican military or police intervene.
Unlike previous holiday periods, cartel gunmen are also targeting state police forces with ambushes. The escalation comes at a time when Mexican politicians continue to minimize the severity of events while trying to direct all attention at the upcoming presidential elections this summer.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León 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 by “A.C. Del Angel” from Tamaulipas.