Seven vehicles with gunmen clashed with Mexican military forces during a fierce battle in the downtown streets of this border city. The skirmish took place mere blocks from the border with Texas.
The fighting occurred Thursday, shortly after 1030 a.m. in the downtown area near the intersection of Guerrero Avenue and Arteaga Street when a convoy of seven vehicles with members of the Cartel Del Noreste faction of the Los Zetas cartel clashed with Mexican military forces that had set up a roadblock of sorts, Mexican law enforcement sources confirmed to Breitbart Texas. The scene of the shootout was fewer than 10 small city blocks from the shallow banks of the Rio Grande. Gunmen riding in four pickup trucks and a white Chevrolet Suburban managed to escape while gunmen riding in a black car and a white Mercedes-Benz SUV stayed behind to slow down military forces.
Two gunmen that had been riding in the black car died while the rest ran into the streets in an effort to mix in with downtown shoppers. Authorities arrested a cartel lookout near the white Mercedes SUV while the rest of the gunmen managed to escape.
Nuevo Laredo is the latest battleground in an escalating war between rival factions of the Los Zetas drug cartel.
Read More: Breitbart
Additionally, the U.S. Department of State has this advice to offer on the current situation in Mexico.
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain places in Mexico due to threats to safety and security posed by organized criminal groups in the country. U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery by organized criminal groups in various Mexican states. For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, which can vary, travelers should reference the state-by-state assessments further below. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico, issued January 19, 2016, to update information about the security situation and to advise the public of additional restrictions on the travel of U.S. government (USG) personnel.
U.S. travelers should be aware that the Mexican government has been engaged in an extensive effort to counter organized criminal groups that engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. Crime and violence are serious problems and can occur anywhere, and U.S. citizens have fallen victim to criminal activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking, and highway robbery. While many of those killed in organized crime-related violence have themselves been involved in criminal activity, innocent persons have also been killed. The number of U.S. citizens reported to the Department of State as murdered in Mexico was 100 in 2014 and 103 in 2015.
Gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities have taken place in towns and cities in many parts of Mexico and have occurred in broad daylight on streets and in other public venues, such as restaurants and clubs. During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been temporarily prevented from leaving the area. Criminal organizations have used stolen cars, buses, and trucks to create roadblocks on major thoroughfares, preventing the military and police from responding to criminal activity. The location and timing of future armed engagements is unpredictable. We recommend that you defer travel to the areas specifically identified in this Travel Warning and exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the other areas for which advisories are in effect.
U.S. citizens are encouraged to lower their personal profiles and to avoid displaying indicators of wealth such as expensive-looking jewelry, watches, or cameras. U.S. citizens are encouraged to maintain awareness of their surroundings and avoid situations in which they may be isolated or stand out as potential victims.
Kidnappings in Mexico have included traditional, “express,” and “virtual” kidnappings. Victims of traditional kidnappings are physically abducted and held captive until a ransom is paid for release. “Express” kidnappings are those in which a victim is abducted for a short time and forced to withdraw money, usually from an ATM, then released. A “virtual” kidnapping is an extortion-by-deception scheme wherein a victim is contacted by phone and convinced to isolate themselves from family and friends until a ransom is paid. The victim is coerced (by threat of violence) to remain isolated and to provide phone numbers for the victim’s family or loved ones. The victim’s family is then contacted and a ransom for the “kidnapped” extracted. Recently, some travelers to Mexico staying at hotels as guests have been targets of such “virtual” kidnapping schemes.
Featured Image – Cartel gunmen murdered a 17-year-old female and kidnapped her husband. The murder took place in the Altavista neighborhood. There, the gunmen left he girls body behind while they kidnapped the 18-year-old husband; his fate remains unknown. – Cartel Chronicles