Cartel Chronicles: Mexican Government Helpless as Kidnappings Ravage Border City

AP Photo
AP Photo

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 Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “JA Espinoza” from Matamoros

MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas — In the Mexican border city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, the government claims their security “strategy” against organized crime remains active. Despite assurances, the list of kidnapping victims continues to grow.

The number of unreported kidnappings has been a limiting factor in getting a clear picture of the situation since the number of individuals who have gone missing is much higher than the statistics currently kept by the government.

In recent months the various factions of organized crime in the area have been severely damaged by their internal fighting pushing them to incorporate kidnapping as just another tool of the trade in an effort to make money.

The use of kidnapping has resulted in innocent civilians and local businessmen having to pay ransom money and protection money in order to be able to continue living their life in the area.

Under the current cartel conditions in the area, anyone can become a target of an “express” kidnapping where gunmen hold the person for a few hours in order to get a small ransom. The modus operandi continues because the region lacks a rule of law since the government lacks any authority which has created a wave of social instability.

White sheets of paper filled with information about recent missing persons cases are aligned side by side on walls, light poles and on social media, showing a written account of the individuals of both sexes who are young, old and from all social strata who went missing a few blocks from home, or while they were driving to or from work.

In 2015 there is no official record law enforcement of all the missing persons, but Tamaulipas is ranked nationally as one of the states with the highest rates of missing people with the border cities being the worst ones.

That is why hospitals, government agencies, the local Red Cross and even international bridges and public transportation units show a glimpse daily reality in this border city; the population is disappearing.

The white sheets of paper with the missing person notice show the most recent picture with personal information, specific features and telephone numbers for calling a loved one if their body is found or if anyone has any information as to their whereabouts.

In this border city, officials avoid dealing with this type of crime privately acknowledging that they are unable to do anything about it legally or morally. In some cases local agencies don’t even have anyone investigating kidnapping cases.

The lack of trust in police agencies remains dominant, their inability to do anything about public safety has left a bad impression on the border society; more so since in some cases they have been directly linked to this type of crime by targeting businessmen for ransom.

That is why average citizens have turned to chain posts on social media websites where they ask for help in case anyone has seen their loved one. This practice gives grief stricken families the chance to get that recent picture to a larger audience in hopes of finding a trail to their loved one.

As more and more residents continue to go missing in this border city, more families are kept waiting for a call to that would hopefully bring them peace and the return of their loved one. Families are left to wonder if their loved one who went missing may have been the victim of a kidnapping gone wrong and are left to simply pray for their return.