Massive gun battles between factions of the Mexican Gulf Cartel in the cities south of the Texas border have turned the region into a war zone. Convoys of rival cartel gunmen have been clashing throughout the day in the cities of Matamoros, Reynosa and Rio Bravo.
The fighting has led to blockades, rolling firefights and total chaos that has brought the daily activities of those cities to a halt as residents seek refuge from the fighting.
The U.S. Consulate in Matamoros issued a series of warning throughout the day giving the location of the shootouts which were described as large scale gunbattles.
Tamaulipas state officials have not released a number of casualties; however, various residents spoke with Breitbart Texas claiming that there were several bodies inside disabled cartel vehicles near the areas of the fighting.
As her city turned into a war zone, the mayor of the Mexican border city of Matamoros took to social media to warn the residents of her city about a series of shootouts in the rural areas.
Unlike the majority of Mexican politicians who try to downplay the violence along the border, Matamoros Mayor Leticia Salazar has often spoken openly about the cartel activity in her city.
“To the families of Matamoros, particularly those who live in the areas of Estacion Ramirez and the town of Control, I am communicating that due to a series of violent conflicts sparking in the recent hours in Matamoros there is a situation of risk,” the Mayor advised. “Therefore we advise that you take the necessary precautions while at the same time informing you that federal security forces are working in a coordinated effort to restore order.”
Just south of the Texas border in Matamoros, Reynosa, Rio Bravo and Valle Hermoso, various commanders from the Gulf Cartel have gone once again gone to war in yet another internal rift within the criminal organization.
In November 2013, Salazar was publicly criticized by Mexican Secretary of the Interior Miguel Osorio Chong for issuing a similar warning to her residents when two factions of the Gulf Cartel had a short spat that left scores dead.