Cartel Chronicles: Cartel War Continues Forcing Heightened Security for Border Festivals

Mexican Festival
JA Espinjoza

Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican border cities of Reynosa and Matamoros 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 Gulf Cartel if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart’s Texas Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by Matamoros’ “JA Espinoza.”

MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas – The traditional Mexican celebrations recently held in this border city set off a massive security detail by state and federal authorities looking to reestablish peace to the area. Meanwhile, drug cartel members continued their large scale gun battles in the surrounding rural areas.

Historically the festivities in Matamoros have been held in a simultaneous fashion with the Charro Day’s Celebration held in Brownsville where the mayors of both cities meet in one of the international bridges to exchange pleasantries. While this year the festivities were held without any problem, two warring factions of the Gulf Cartel continued their fighting along highways and rural areas.

The request for the added security came from Matamoros Mayor Leticia Salazar who worked to have a large security detail at all of the events held during the celebrations.

The celebrations ran without a hitch under the watchful eye of Mexican marines, soldiers and state police officers who patrolled the city.

In the downtown area where the celebrations were held, authorities set up barricades and fortified the area while convoys of federal police patrolled the city’s main avenues increasing their presence and visibility in order to try to restore peace.

In a daily fashion authorities patrolled by land and air the areas that are known trouble spots in regards to criminal activity. Despite the increased police presence along the border and in Matamoros’ main roads the presence of tourists was clearly lacking.

Despite the constant presence of authorities around the city, in the highways that lead to Matamoros and in the rural areas surrounding the city cartel members continued to have their checkpoints where they harass and extort daily commuters.

Despite the large effort made in hopes of preserving the peace in the city, the security of the citizens was not guaranteed since throughout the week of the festivities cartel members continued having regular shootouts in the city’s east side.

Despite the poor security conditions, Mexico’s federal government refuses to send members of the new gendarmerie claiming that the current security strategy does not call for those assets along the border.