US Consulate Issues Warning for Matamoros, MexicoFebruary 9, 2015 in Mexico
The United States consulate in Matamoros issued a statement on Wednesday (4 February 2015) warning all American citizens of an increase in violence, which US officials indicate has been attributed to a battle between Matamoros and Reynosa factions of the Gulf Cartel.
The US consulate has indicated that staff members have been advised to restrict travel in the city as there has been a surge in violence and an increase in reports of large convoys of armed drug gang members driving through Matamoros. A statement released by the consulate indicated, “while daytime convoys of armed Transnational Criminal Organization members are not necessarily unusual for Matamoros, the amount of violence that has resulted from gun battles between these rival factions is cause for increased vigilance.” TCO convoys have been also driving through Division Del Norte, Lauro Villar, Canales, Periferico and near the entrance to the Veterans International Bridge.
On Wednesday, Mexican federal troops killed eight alleged gang members in battles that occurred along a highway near the US border in the northern state of Tamaulipas. According to a federal and state police task force, the gunmen were killed in separate battles after they hijacked buses and used them to block a highway between the cities of Matamoros and Reynosa, opposite the Texas border towns of Brownsville and McAllen. According to officials, an explosive device was found and deactivated in front of the mayor’s office in Matamoros.
According to federal data, Tamaulipas state led the country in kidnappings in 2014, with 264 reported cases, compared with 211 that were reported in 2013. Homicides rose from 555 in 2013 to 628 in 2014.