A narco-terrorist who became one of the top leaders within the Cartel Del Noreste (CDN) faction of Los Zetas was apparently shot during a series of clashes with state police in the border city of Nuevo Laredo. The near-capture of the drug lord, along with some of his close associates on New Year’s Eve, led to a series of shootouts the following day as cartel gunmen actively targeted officers. Mexico’s newly formed National Guard did not intervene in the clashes.
— La Voz Del Pueblo (Oficial) (@LPueblo2) January 2, 2020
The shootouts on New Year’s Day led to several injuries and casualties. One innocent bystander was also shot near a hospital. The raging violence led the Webb County Sheriff in Texas to issue an alert asking residents to not cross into Mexico. The U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo also asked U.S. citizens to be aware of the violence.
SECURITY ALERT: The Consulate has received reports of multiple gunfights throughout the city of Nuevo Laredo.
U.S. government personnel are advised to shelter in place.
Actions to Take:
Seek secure shelter. Notify friends and family of your safety.Monitor local media for updates.
— USCG Nvo Laredo (@USAConNVL) January 2, 2020
Tuesday evening, Tamaulipas state police clashed with the security detail belonging to Hector Raul “El Tory” Luna Luna. Three cartel gunmen died while one police officer sustained injuries, U.S. law enforcement sources working in Nuevo Leon revealed to Breitbart Texas.
The sources revealed that during the shootout, El Tory was also injured but managed to escape with help from “Hell’s Troops or Tropas Del Infierno,” a group in armored SUVs loyal to CDN-Los Zetas boss and ally Juan Gerardo “El Huevo” Trevino Chavez. El Tory is the same cartel boss behind the 2008 grenade and shooting attack on the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey. After his capture in 2010, a Mexican judge released him in 2018 under suspicious circumstances.
El Tory became one of the top leaders within CDN-Zetas and chose his hideout in Nuevo Laredo, where it was easier for him to run his operations in the Monterrey metropolitan area.
According to information released by the Tamaulipas government, the violence began on New Year’s Day shortly after 5 p.m. when a group of gunmen wearing cloned military uniforms attacked a group of Tamaulipas state police officers patrolling the San Rafael neighborhood just southwest of the city’s downtown area. During that attack, the gunmen also fired into a local hotel where state police officers were lodging. One officer and one innocent bystander were injured.
By 8 p.m., the CDN-Zetas gunmen carried out another attack at a local hospital where two individuals died and an innocent bystander was shot in the parking lot, the Tamaulipas government revealed.
The clashes on New Year’s Day were primarily between CDN gunmen in cloned military uniforms and Tamaulipas State Police. Officials on both sides of the border say the National Guard did not reinforce the state cops, leaving their superior firepower and equipment out of the skirmishes.
In the aftermath, Tamaulipas Governor Francisco Cabeza de Vaca took to social media to express support for the state cops and ensure they would not back down. Cabeza de Vaca made no mention of the National Guard.
— Fco. Cabeza de Vaca (@fgcabezadevaca) January 2, 2020
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. 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 Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Aranda from Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report.