Gunfight in Matamoros

Friday, November 05, 2010

I've recently began following a blog called Borderland Beat. It is covering the escalating violence in northern Mexico. It is depressing reading (and be forewarned if you follow the link -- it sometimes has rather graphic pictures). 

Today the Zetas (one of the criminal cartels fighting to control the drug trade) and the Mexican federal police backed by soldiers engaged in a large scale gun battle. So far 47 people have been reported killed, including Tony Tormento who was one of the cartel's leaders. The astonishing video above is gives a feel for the volume of gunfire. I don't speak Spanish so I don't know what the camera men and the people on the streets are saying to each other. Brave man, the fellow who filmed that.

Most sobering to a U.S. citizen is that Matamoros is just across the border from Brownsville Texas and the gunfight was so intense that the University of Texas at Brownsville and Southernmost Texas College had to cancel or move some events. With violence increasing in northern Mexico it seems only a matter of time before a serious and deadly border incident happens.


Luther said...

Reading the articles and comments at BB, what a terrible situation down there. I don't have much hope that things will get better soon. I'm driving down to San Carlos today for a week's stay. Honestly, though I try not to let paranoia rule, I'm pretty apprehensive about doing so. We'll see how it goes.

ambisinistral said...

It is depressing reading, isn't it?

I have a friend how came from Columbia. He described how impossible it was to live in a situation because even having just a brief casual conversation with a member of one faction (gang, guerrilla, soldier or police) would cause the others to be suspicious of you.

Have a good trip and stay safe.

Luther said...

The trip was good, and safe. In talking to the locals they say there has been no hint so far of similar madness on the east shore of the Sea of Cortez. I certainly hope it stays that way, it's a wonderful area.

Well... when I say safe I meant from external forces. Unfortunately my internal forces suffered a slip and fall, so now I sit at home with a fractured tibia and fibula. On the plus side though, I had just left the dive boat after receiving my Level 1 'Open Water' scuba diving certification. If there are any divers here I'll say that San Pedro Island, off the coast of San Carlos is a magnificent dive. Tons of sea life.

Luther said...

Ambi, just ran across this article.

Another POV about what is going on down there, a POV that seems to think the USA responsible, or at least culpable for much of the troubles. I don't agree but some good points are made.

ambisinistral said...


Glad to hear that, outside of the busted bones, you made it back OK and had a good time.

Some of the commentators at Boarderland Beat point their fingers at the U.S. as well. There is a grain of truth to a lot of it, but only a grain. Beyond that it is just excuse making IMHO.