On New Year’s Day, the Webb County sheriff issued a statement cautioning the public of intensive shootings happening in Nuevo Laredo between cartel members and the state police of Tamaulipas, Mexico.
In his warning, Sheriff Martin Cuellar urged the public to avoid certain areas due to vehicle hijackings and the use of high-caliber machine guns in addition to other explosives.
“Please avoid these areas and do not cross over to Nuevo Laredo…Our prayers go out to the citizens of Nuevo Laredo,” said Sheriff Cuellar.
The sheriff continued by saying that Webb County sheriff’s deputies were working in partnership with the Laredo Police Department to monitor the situation.
In a statement regarding the conflict, Governor Abbott also announced that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) was working with law enforcement at all levels in the area “to maintain safety & security in Texas.”
Located across the border, Nuevo Laredo is considered a sister city to Laredo.
According to the Laredo Morning Times, the string of shootings began on Tuesday afternoon in Colonia Francisco Villa in west Nuevo Laredo and continued through Wednesday, extending to other parts of the city.
So far, three cartel members have been reported dead with several Tamaulipas State Police members reportedly wounded.
Though no spillover has been reported on the U.S. side of the border, Lisette Hernandez of KSAN News in San Angelo posted a video taken in Laredo just a few blocks from Nuevo Laredo in which gunshots can be heard coming from the neighboring region.
Though the video posted on Twitter is less than a minute long, she says the entire video features more than two and a half minutes of gunfire.
Located on the eastern side of Mexico, the Tamaulipas state of Mexico is currently plagued by violence as fights between rival cartels persist.
The region borders a number of Texas cities, including McAllen and Brownsville in addition to Laredo.
At the beginning of December, a fight between cartel members and Mexican state police in Coahuila resulted in the death of more than 20 people, approximately 40 miles from Eagle Pass.
Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.