By Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat
Update at bottom, arrests made...
Update at bottom, arrests made...
Chaos and panic erupted last night in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, the Mexican city that shares the border with Eagle Pass Texas.
Around 8PM twitterers and libre network users began reporting that shootouts were occurring in various sectors of the city in what media sources are calling a “narco rebellion”. In the aftermath Sergio Sisbeles, a spokesman for security affairs of Coahuila, stated there were 10 known casualties of the attacks with no apparent losses by the narco group, but possibly there may be civilian casualties.
Elements of GATE (special weapons and tactics group) and the narco group engaged in battle on Highway 75 and various parts of Piedras Negras. Using combat weapons and granadazos (grenades) the attacks lasted for hours.
Terror griped the city causing widespread turmoil. The first confrontation broke out on Highway 57 at around 5 PM and the Micare plant and offices. The violence triggered American federal authorities to close the two international bridges in Eagle Pass, Texas.
A girls softball tournament was in progress while the violence was occurring, as the shootout ensued close to the playing field creating hysteria by the players and those attending the game, as they ran to safety.
The armed gunmen are believed to be the Los Zetas cartel known to have control of Piedras Negras and are most likely responsible for the attacks. The border with Mexico, Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras was closed to protect American citizens and prevent the violence from crossing over into the United States.
By using buses and a crane, it was the gunmen themselves that blocked highway 57, and the Acuna/Piedras highway, virtually isolating and paralyzing the city. Bullet ridden vehicles were left inoperable by the gunmen shooting out the tires leaving hundreds of “ponchallantas” (punctured tires) scattered and blocking the main traffic arteries of the city.
A GATE officer was killed in the shootings, Maria Guadalupe Delgadillo, age 21, was dead at the scene however her fellow officer was alive but seriously wounded, he and the other wounded officers were taken to IMSS Clinic 11 for medical treatment, one in critical condition, four others serious condition and five in fair condition.
Army tanks remained at the hospital to protect the safety of the wounded officers. This action was taken hoping to prevent the gunmen from gaining entrance and killing the officers, as often occurs in Mexico to survivors of such attacks.
Recently, Piedras was one of the border cities receiving additional security as additional troops arrived such as the Marina and equipment including helicopters. On Monday of this week GATE troops arrived, and clearly preventing even greater loss of human life and property.
UPDATE: Coahuila's Prosecutor's Office announced the arrest of Eusebio Hernandez Olivas, alias "El Chebo" and Eduardo Hernández Reyes alias "El Guero". These individuals were arrested in the vicinity of the road that leads from Piedras Negras to the ciudad Acuña and were arrested for involvement in the Piedras attack. (see fotos below) The state also emphasized that the GATE elements were deployed to Piedras this week to combat the alarming elevation of kidnapping and carjacking incidents in the city.
Among the items confiscated from the attack:
Black Durango model 2000
A Toyota Tundra burgundy
A GMC Sierra crew cab gray
A Toyota Tundra, double cab, white, 2010 model
A double cab DODGE RAM, color red, model 2010
Two rocket launchers
Three grenade launchers
Six radios (communication type)
Three bullet-proof vests
HK machine gun with ammunition
machine gun MDD
long gun (shotgun)
20 long gun (R15
A 22-caliber rifle
A 33 caliber rifle
An antenna base