SAN FERNANDO, Tamaulipas – A fierce turf war between two rival factions of the Gulf Cartel brought a new wave of terror to residents of numerous rural coastal communities approximately 70 miles south of the border with Texas.
For several weeks, the rural coastal community of Barrancon de San Blas, Tamaulipas, just east of San Fernando,witnessed numerous shootouts, kidnappings, and executions as rival factions of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel wage a fierce territorial war. The rival factions battle for control of drug trafficking and human smuggling routes to the border. One of the factions, at one time known as Los Metros, is currently in control of the region. That faction is made up of gunmen from Reynosa, Miguel Aleman, and San Fernando. This faction is currently holding off a series of incursions from a rival Gulf Cartel faction from Matamoros.
As Breitbart Texas reported, in recent weeks, Tamaulipas state authorities cracked down on the operations of Evaristo “El Vaquero” Cruz in Matamoros forcing him to go into hiding including Rio Bravo, San Fernando, and areas close to the Barrancon de San Blas area. That crackdown came at a time when El Vaquero’s gunmen have been expanding their turf into the border city of Reynosa, forcing Los Metros to go on the defensive.
In addition to the push for Reynosa, El Vaquero’s gunmen made numerous incursions into Barrancon de San Blas and other remote rural areas causing a dramatic rise in violence in the region. Locals who spoke with Breitbart Texas revealed the escalation of violence led to a series of self-imposed curfews as cartel gunmen continue to spread online messages and banners taunting rivals and warning locals.
“Keep sending more like this (expletive) Vaquero Ciclon 46 so you can see how your people end up when they enter El Barrancon de San Blas,” one of those messages revealed. “Here the plaza already has an owner and all of those who mess with the fishermen will clash with us. Keep sending more so we can burn them to a crisp.”
The violence in Barrancon de San Blas comes at the same time as a group of Gulf Cartel gunmen shot seven members of a ranching family just south of the border city of Reynosa killing three of them. The victims were mostly children. As Breitbart Texas reported, the massacre and a series of ongoing attacks on local farmers near Reynosa forced many residents to leave their lands fearing further violence.
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.