Beginning in the evening of Sunday, February 1, reports of blockades and shootouts in northern Tamaulipas has spread online. It appears that the first reports were of blockades and spikes being dropped on the highway between Anahuac and Valle Hermoso.
Later that night word spread of a shootout in Nuevo Progreso, followed by the highway between Rio Bravo and Reynosa being completely blocked. Convoys of vehicles apparently carrying cartel members were also reported in Rio Bravo.
Around the same time began reports of shootouts in Reynosa. The largest of the shootouts, occurring near the Las Fuentes traffic circle, began around 4:20 AM on February 2 and lasted over an hour and a half. Eyewitnesses claimed multiple dead bodies in the area. As of 7:30 PM Central Time reports of shootings in Reynosa continue.
While the situation is still developing and information is sporadic, there are indications that war is erupting between two factions of the Gulf Cartel, Matamoros and Los Metros of Reynosa. The primary evidence supporting this is reports of vehicles with Escorpión, M3, XX, or 900 painted on the windows.
Although it has been years since these factions were united under the same leadership, hostilities appeared to be sporadic and limited in scope. With the sudden elevated level of violence, it appears that a major development has taken place within the Gulf Cartel, the nature of which has yet to be revealed.
A convergence of information indicates the violence began when a member of Los Metros, Juan Francisco Carrizales, alias "El 98", who is the plaza head of Rio Bravo, attempted to attack Matamoros as part of a plan to take over the city. Beyond that there is mixed information if he is receiving support from other members of Los Metros, in particular the plaza head of Reynosa, Sergio Velázquez, alias "El Gafe".
A number of shootouts occurred in Reynosa last night and at the moment there are numerous reports of shootouts and road blockages taking place in Matamoros, as well as convoys of vehicles with "M-3" painted on the windows, a sign used by members of Los Metros, being observed.