MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas – A new rash of kidnappings and extortion by cartels is causing alarm among local business owners. They are asking for help amid relaxed federal enforcement efforts in the region.
In the last three weeks, various border cities in Tamaulipas saw a spike in kidnappings affecting all economic classes, Federation of National Chambers of Commerce in Tamaulipas head Julio Cesar Almanza said in an interview with Breitbart Texas. Currently, FECANACO holds more than 12,000 members in Tamaulipas, including some of the largest companies dependent on international commerce. The spokesman called for help from the federal and state governments since business owners fear an economic downturn unless security is restored.
Almanza advised business owners in Matamoros, Reynosa, and Nuevo Laredo to be more careful with their daily routines; to switch driving routes; and guard their schedules. Incidents in Matamoros spread panic among locals, triggering protests outside city hall. The victims consisted of manufacturing plant supervisors, a now-released physician, female students, and several other random victims. Mayor Mario “La Borrega” Lopez has not publicly addressed the issue.
The concerns come at a time when Mexican federal and military forces are largely absent from fighting cartels in the area. As a result, Tamaulipas Governor Francisco Cabeza de Vaca publicly criticized Mexico City for inaction. Cabeza claimed his state’s officers effectively stand alone.
In a previous interview with Breitbart Texas over the summer, Almanza asked Mexico City to request aid from United Nations peacekeepers as cartel violence escalated with a rash of highway robberies.
“We all have a relative or a friend who is missing, has been murdered, or has become a victim of violence,” Almanza said at the time. “Iraq is a paradise compared to what Tamaulipas can become if the Federation does not ask for help and retake control.”
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 “J.A. Espinoza” from Tamaulipas.