Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reynosa, Tamaulipas: Urban Warfare 8/24/2010

The failed state of Tamaulipas continues to spiral out of control this week as organized criminal gangs wage a “narco” insurrection which the authorities at all levels of government seem powerless to stop.

On Sunday, August 21, the rural guerrilla war being waged by the rival Los Zetas and the Cartel del Golfo in the Frontera Chica heated up again with a major engagement that took the lives of at least 8 people in the settlement of Los Guerra, located in the municipality of Miguel Aleman.

The Frontera Chica is the area on the Mexican side of the U.S./Mexico border and has been greatly depopulated due to the extreme violence and insecurity.

While on patrol in Los Guerra , a detachment of federal police came upon 11 shot up and abandoned SUV’s and pickups. Five assault rifles, magazines, ammunition, bullet proof vests and comunications equipment were found in several of the vehicles.

In two of the pickups, a red Ford F-250 and a grey Dodge Ram 1500, both with Texas license plates, a total of 8 unidentifed bodies were found. Undetonated grenades were also found in both vehicles. No information was given by the federal police as to whether the bodies were those of cartel gunmen or townspeople.

On Tuesday August 24, urban warfare engulfed the border city of Reynosa for the second time this month.

Gunfire and explosions erupted between rival criminal gangs, probably Los Zetas and the Cartel del Golfo, inside the city and on the Reynosa-Monterrey highway at 5:00 pm. The level of fighting increased as the Mexican military intervened.

Heavily armed gang members hijacked tractor trailors, buses and automobiles and set up “narco” blockades on the main avenues of Hidalgo, Luis Donaldo Colosio and the highway leading to Monterrey. Traffic was impeded for up to 3 hours by the violence and the blockades.

The heaviest fighting was reported in the Villa Florida and the Granjas Economicas del Norte areas of the city.

Three soldiers and four gunmen were reported killed in the fighting and up to eight civilians were wounded. The condition of the wounded was unknown.

The city of Reynosa used its Twitter account to inform the population of the status of the fighting and blockades and to keep indoors and off the streets.
Neither city officials nor local media outlets provided any official confirmation of the widespread violence or casualties.

Scenes of the fighting in Reynosa, August 24.










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