Crime & Justice

Shootouts in Mexican border city force closure of bridges to US

Monterrey, Mexico, Mar 14 (EFE).- The border city of Nuevo Laredo, in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, on Monday morning was shattered by dozens of separate shootouts between a drug cartel and the Mexican army, a situation that spurred authorities to close the international bridges connecting the city to the United States for several hours.

According to what Mexican officials said, after midnight on Sunday and throughout Monday morning there were some 30 armed confrontations between members of the Tropa del Infierno, the armed wing of the Northeast Cartel (CDN), and the army, with cartel gunmen blockading several avenues with dozens of burned vehicles after the arrest of one of their leaders.

“Shots were reported fired at military installations and the offices of the United States Consulate in Nuevo Laredo, along with confrontations and pursuits at several points around the city,” the Tamaulipas Public Safety Secretariat said.

The clashes began a little after midnight with members of the cartel setting up blockades “by placing heavy vehicles” along the main streets of Nuevo Laredo. “At least two tractor-trailers were set on fire,” the official report – to which EFE received access – stated.

A source within the Special Operations Group (Gopes) who spoke with EFE reported that “these acts are related to the arrest by federal forces of a top leader of the criminal organization that operates in Nuevo Laredo.”

The capture of Juan Gerardo Treviño Chavez, the leader of the NDC, was unofficially confirmed and Mexican authorities so far have not reported any figures on fatalities or injuries in the clashes.

The international bridges linking Nuevo Laredo with the city of Laredo, Texas, were reopened during the course of Monday morning after being closed for several hours.

The clashes were the response the cartel mounted to try and prevent Mexican authorities from transferring Treviño Chavez to a military base and, from there, transporting him to Mexico City.

This is the same strategy that the Sinaloa Cartel used in October 2019 in Culiacan when Mexican authorities captured then-29-year-old Ovidio Guzman, one of the sons of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, whereupon the authorities reversed themselves and released the younger Guzman “to avoid further bloodshed.”

EFE jac/mqb/dmt/bp

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