Gulf Cartel gunmen used municipal vehicles to set roadblocks throughout the border city of Matamoros as a way to slow down military and police responses to a shootout. It remains unclear if the government vehicles were taken by force or not, however, the criminal organization and local authorities have a long history of cooperation.
Videos from Tamaulipas government surveillance cameras revealed that during last week’s large-scale shootout between cartel forces and Mexican authorities, Gulf Cartel men used trash collection vehicles from the City of Matamoros to block traffic.
The city government has not released any statements regarding the use of their trash collection vehicles. However, Matamoros has a long history of cooperation with the Gulf Cartel, where local police, city employees, and others have been outed as working for the criminal organization. In the past, several key cartel members have been listed on municipal payrolls.
Last week, Mexican troops and state police clashed with Gulf Cartel gunmen in a series of skirmishes which spread terror throughout Matamoros. Security forces killed one of the top enforcers for the Gulf Cartel, identified as Ariel “El Tigre” Trevino.
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 email@example.com.
“J.C. Sanchez” and “J.A. Espinoza” from Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles contributed to this report.