Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gov't mum as Matamoros copes with daily firefights

by: The Monitor

Residents have gotten used to daily firefights this week as a group of Zetas continues to fight Gulf Cartel members and the Mexican military for control of the city.

Over the weekend, at least 20 SUVs belonging to the Zetas snuck into the city to reinforce their fellow Zetas already in town, according to sources outside law enforcement familiar with the city.

The additional Zetas snuck in despite extra Gulf Cartel patrols throughout Matamoros and Reynosa that followed the Sept. 2 execution of Gulf Cartel lieutenant Samuel “Metro 3” Flores Borrego. According to the Mexican military and Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, Flores Borrego was killed as a result of Gulf Cartel infighting.

Despite little to no coverage from local media outlets regarding the firefights since, citizens no longer seem alarmed by the fighting or the convoys of gunmen that roam the city.

The city’s Twitter account @MatamorosGOB, which would post updates on “situations of risk,” has gone silent. And daily news releases from the city make no mention of any violent situations.

“Nothing new,” said a taxi driver in the city’s downtown. “They do their thing, and we all try to stay out of the way.”

The taxi driver said that by day, residents go about their days, going to work and such.

But in the evenings, most people stay indoors.

A businessman in the city said there is not much that residents can do about the fighting except go about their lives and make the best of the situation.

Mexican law enforcement officials and sources outside law enforcement both said the city has seen daily firefights since last week in various key areas, including Avenida Del Niño, Avenida Del Maestro, Sección 16, Colonia Acuario, Colonia Obrera, Colonia Modelo and Sendero Nacional.

Most recently, a firefight was reported Thursday afternoon along the city’s Lauro Villar Avenue. It remains unclear whether the firefights are Gulf Cartel and Zetas clashing or one of the organizations clashing with the military. But sources outside law enforcement say the Gulf Cartel has increased its presence in the streets since the weekend.

Despite the daily firefights, the most recent firefight reported by authorities occurred Monday when, according to the Mexican army, a heavy firefight killed four gunmen and one soldier and injured four other soldiers.

According to information released by the Mexican army, that firefight began as a military convoy patrolling along the Cavazos Lerma Boulevard near the Colonia Obrera came under fire from an unknown group of gunmen. After the firefight, authorities seized two assault rifles, 22 ammunition magazines, other tactical equipment items and two vehicles.

Update: 8 September 2011: 11:00 pm

Dual bomb threats shut down two International bridges

by Sergio Chapa
Valley Central

Dual bomb threats temporarily halted traffic at two international bridges in Cameron County on Thursday night.

It all happened at the Los Indios International Bridge and Brownsville's Veterans International Bridge.

Investigators told Action 4 News that the dual threats were telephoned in to the CameronCounty Sheriff's Department.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials told Action 4 News that the proper measures were taken for the public's safety.

No arrests have been made and no suspects have been identified.

The case remains under investigation by the Cameron County Sheriff's Department.

Additional Links:

Abaten a 4 en Matamoros; muere militar

Muere soldado durante balacera en Matamoros