Friday, November 5, 2010

The Afghanization of Mexico Continues, Today in Matamoros

News media in Brownsville, Texas, are reporting on a day-long running gun battle in Matamoros, Mexico, between two rival drug cartels and the Mexican Federal police and military. The fighting began in the morning, and by noon at least 30 people had been killed. The total rose to 47 dead by afternoon. That isn't crime, that's warfare.

From the Brownsville Herald:

Gunfire broke out in Matamoros Friday, leaving at least 47 people dead and causing the closure of all three bridges between Brownsville and Mexico.

The fighting reportedly involved members of the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas and Mexican federal police and military

University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College closed the Fort Brown campus and moved the soccer games scheduled for Friday night to the Brownsville Sports Park.

Gunfire was reported in Matamoros in a number of incidents beginning Friday morning, with at least 30 people dead by around noon, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition that his name not be used.

In the afternoon, a major confrontation near city hall killed at least 17 more people, the source said.

One of those killed around midday was identified as Carlos Alberto Guajardo, 37, a reporter for the newspaper El Expreso. Sources with knowledge of the incident said Guajardo apparently was killed by soldiers who were chasing narcotics traffickers.

The three international bridges connecting Brownsville and Matamoros were reopened at 7PM.

It is also being reported that today's fighting began when Mexican authorities attempted to capture Antonio Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillen, one of the two leaders of the Gulf Cartel, and that Cárdenas was killed.

The U.S. State Department had offered a reward up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Cárdenas, AKA "Tony Tormenta." So maybe some lucky Mexican is richer tonight.

All big Mexican narcos have a narcocorrido, or ballad. This was the corrido of Tony Tormenta.


Update: Although I've seen nothing reported by U.S. Consulate Matamoros yet, informally, I understand that all personnel are accounted for.

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