Cartel Chronicles: Mexican Government Silent After Gunmen Steal 11,500 US Visas

Thousands of tourists cross into the U.S. each day using border crossing cards similar to the ones stolen this month.
Breitbart Texas / Ildefonso Ortiz

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 – The Mexican government has remained silent for two and a half weeks after a group of gunmen hijacked a truck carrying 11,500 U.S. visas that were destined for the American Consulates in Monterrey and Guadalajara.

As previously reported exclusively by Breitbart Texas, on June 7, a group of gunmen hijacked a cargo truck that had left from Brownsville, Texas and was headed to Monterrey and Guadalajara to the consular offices in those cities. The heist took place on the same day that Mexican federal and state authorities had “ensured” the public’s safety as the nation carried out its federal elections.

This week, despite the hijacking that took place in this city, the issue was not one of the relevant topics discussed during this week’s meeting of the Tamaulipas Coordination Group which took place in this border city in an effort to supposedly improve security conditions in the area.

The meeting took place in the Mexican Navy sector headquarters in this city where Tamaulipas Governor Egidio Torre Cantu and Matamoros Mayor Leticia Salazar spoke about the lack of interest by the youth in regards to joining the state’s police forces and the need for an anti-kidnapping unit.

The speeches never mentioned the fact that a group of gunmen had hijacked a truck with property of the U.S. government inside including 11,500 border crossing cards which are a visa of sorts given to Mexican tourists.

Despite the silence from both governments which lasted for more than 15 days, the heist manifests itself as a new case of violent activity in this city but it now was carried out against a foreign nation by stealing U.S. government documents and attacking the identity of Mexicans. The crime displays the vulnerability felt in this border city that is in reality under the rule of organized crime.

The Matamoros Chamber of Commerce (Canaco)   acknowledged that the recent hijacking of the truck with the visas by members of organized crime adds to the negative image of violence just south of the Texas border.

Osvaldo Castillo, the president of the chamber stated that the heist add to the “bad image” that Matamoros has earned through a long list of violent acts that only help to show the lack of governability in this city by authorities.

He said that in the last few years and months, Tamaulipas has been affected by the violence that has overtaken the country. This created a situation that has escalated to the current levels along the border where violent confrontations between cartel members over territories and power have been taken place.

In a similar fashion, the lack of security conditions has affected the public with the wave on kidnapping and extortions that have been felt in this border city in recent months.

In regards to the patrolling of the highways that lead into the city, the chamber president said that it is important that immediate attention be brought to curb the regular criminal activities along the highways.

“We acknowledge that the highway robberies have increased, as far as we know, and the crime has now not only impacted the citizens but has now spread with the theft of the visas,” he said.

Castillo stated that the U.S. government was the victim of the crime in this case and that has a direct effect with the community and the international relations.

“Because of the violent acts along the border consular officials have been critical in regards to what has been taking place in Matamoros and Tamaulipas as a whole,” Castillo said.

Despite the recent events, Castillo stated that the consul can help not only by alerting tourists visiting the area, but also by bringing attention to the hijacking of cargo trucks along the highways which, in this case, included one tied to the consulate.

Ultimately any crime that takes place in Matamoros such as shootouts, kidnappings, extortion, and robberies ends up damaging the already tarnished image of this city, he said.