Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) downplayed a mass kidnapping case near the Texas border where a team of cartel gunmen pulled between 19 and 22 victims from a passenger bus. The Mexican president said the incident is simply reflective of how some migrants reach the U.S. border.
During his daily morning press conference, Lopez Obrador said there was no indication the victims were kidnapped–offering a contrary theory that the so-called missing passengers were all migrants who crossed into Texas.
“It’s not that they disappeared, that is how they cross the border,” AMLO said during his televised press conference posted by El Manana de Reynosa. “There have been two similar cases.”
Breitbart News reported last week when four SUVs with cartel gunmen hijacked a bus traveling to Reynosa and removed 19 passengers by force. One of the theories shared by federal law enforcement sources suggested the passengers were indeed migrants, but with outstanding smuggling fees owed to the Gulf Cartel. Authorities also suggested those removed could be leveraged for new fees levied on family members. Since the original report, the number of missing passengers rose to 22 and the bus company, Transpais, confirmed one of its vehicles was targeted.
The regions between the border cities of Reynosa and Matamoros are contested turf between rival factions of the Gulf Cartel. The fighting has led to numerous gun battles, kidnappings, and executions. Both Gulf Cartel factions are trying to corner the lucrative drug and human smuggling routes into Texas.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.