Sunday, October 9, 2011
Gun battle in Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas
By Daisy Martinez
Valley Central News
Mexican military helicopters circled the skies over the Roma International Bridge, as armed Starr County Sheriff deputies patrolled on land.
Starr County resident Alicia Campos said it’s a scene that’s become all too familiar.
A gun battle had reportedly broke-out on the Mexican side of the border. Campos said life along the border just isn't what it used to be.
"We just don’t want violence over here on this side of the border - it gets scary sometimes," Campos said. "We want just to be safe here in our homes."
Sheriff Rene Fuentes said the gun battle Saturday morning was between Mexican Military soldiers and alleged drug cartels.
It started around 9:30 a.m. on the streets of Ciudad Miguel Aleman, across from the Roma Bridge.
Fuentes sent deputies to the port of entry while U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers warned people crossing into Mexico about the possible danger.
At one point, Fuentes said, at least four Mexican military choppers were in the skies above the border.
He said his deputies stayed on the ground to protect Americans against any possible spillover violence.
Campos said years ago, these gun battles were unheard of.
"We don’t sleep like we used to sleep then, we could open our doors, and you know, be very calm and everything,” Campos said. “But nowadays, we don't."
Campos wants more boots on the ground along the border.
She said with so many people crossing into the U.S., she can't be sure they're all here for good reasons.
She's hopes prayer will help resolve the frightening situation.
"I’ve been praying for the president and for every governor to take over because the violence has gotten really bad over here on this side,” Campos said. “I just wish and I’m praying to God that all this ends."
Sheriff Fuentes said the gun battles are all too common, but adds his department is doing its best to keep danger out of the U.S.
Update and additional information from Mexico
The land and air attack was a planned operation. The object was to storm a safe house in the San German neighborhood where the Miguel Aleman plaza boss Eudoxio Ramos "El Bocho", Juan Reyes Mejía Gonzalez "R1", his right hand man, "Max", and several sicarios were allegedly hiding out in.
Sicarios attempting to provide back up to the safe house where immobilized by federal troops on the ground and marines in air, shooting from helicopters .
At 10:50 am the shootings stopped. The aftermath of the 1 hour 20 minutes of battle was damage to homes, vehicles, an undetermined amount of dead sicarios, and the detention of others.
The military operation continued to the Hotel Virrey in downtown Miguel Aleman, where allegedly, other sicarios had entrenched themselves.
The operations continued throughout the city, 4 bullet ridden vehicles were left at the scene of the battle, and extra-officially it has been reported eight sicarios were killed and 5 arrested.
El Norte reported the arrest of a CDG local leader and close companion as "R1" identified only as "Max".
It has not been confirmed, but there is talk that among the dead was Juan Reyes Mejía Gonzalez "R1", and among those arrested Oscar Lerma Vela, "La Peseta".