Reynosa is just across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas. It was the scene of a horrific firefight between factions of the Gulf drug cartel Sunday night.
Fear and panic filled the streets of Reynosa on Sunday night as rival gunmen battled during a three-hour firefight that saw automatic weapons and grenades used. Surprisingly, Mexican authorities were absent for most of the melee.
The opening clashes were reported just before 9 p.m. Sunday, when rival factions of the Gulf Cartel consummated what appeared to be a yet another rift within the criminal organization.
During the protracted gunbattle, dozens of gunmen were killed, but authorities Monday would only confirm the deaths of two bystanders and the injury of a third.
A Tamaulipas law enforcement official, who asked to not be named citing security reasons, confirmed that the death toll was about three dozen, however the exact figures were not known because cartel gunmen picked up their own people’s bodies during the struggle.
“There were four trucks filled with bodies that (members of organized crime) picked up,” the official said. “That is not counting the (bodies) that were left behind.”
Hidalgo County has more crosspoints between the US and Mexico than any other county, and it’s only about 300 miles from Austin. We have written about McAllen and Hidalgo County numerous times here at the Tatler, focusing on evidence that the local sheriff’s department is cooking crime stats to make the county appear safer than it is. Late last year, several local law enforcement officers were arrested for working with the cartels to move drugs into the US. Among those arrested was the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino.
Don’t expect to see much mainstream media coverage of anything happening on the border right now, including a firefight worthy of a war.
While online the shootout in Reynosa has become common knowledge, mainstream news media have remained mum about it, said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, chair of the Government Department at the University of Texas at Brownsville.
“This has me very worried because this blackout is coming from both sides,” Correa Cabrera said. “Not only are we seeing organized crime shushing the media but now we are seeing the government at all levels put a lid on the media where you now have virtually no mainstream coverage of a battle of this magnitude.”