Residents of Monclova Coahuila awoke this morning to blockades, gunfire and explosions as organized crime groups battled Mexican army units and Federal Police. One Federal police officer has been reported killed.
As usual, reports of the incidents which occurred in and around the Colonia Technologia. Monclova has been the scene of clashes between Los Zetas and Cartel de Sinoloa and with the same groups battling the Mexican military and Federal Police.
Reports of the conflict came across through social media sites such as Twitter around 0700 and at 0745, a “Code Red” or “Codgio Rojo” was ordered placing schools, hospitals and other public venues on lockdown.
Photos sent via Twitter by various people show school children hunkered down on the floor of their classrooms while others show the blockages or major traffic arteries.
Confirmation of the death of the Federal police officer was confirmed by the spokesman for the State security apparatus, Jesus Carranza.
The “Code Red” was lifted an hour later at 0845 as authorities began their investigation into this mornings events. There has been no word on the number, if any, of the gunmen killed or captured.
One week later, Reynosa is still “Ground Zero”
A week after the violence that rocked Reynosa on March 10, the city remains in upheaval with residents rarely venturing outdoors after dark. Various factions of the Gulf Cartel continue chases and captures on the streets of Reynosa as militaryand civilian authorities try to sort out the mess. In at least one case, it was reported via social media units of the Reynosa police and transit police escorting a pickup truck with the markings “CDG” on the doors to an unknown destination.
On Tuesday a news release by the Mexican Secretaria de Defensa Nacional(SEDENA) said that 30 vehicles, guns and drugs were seized in the aftermath of the bloody confrontation in Reynosa. The seizures took place between 1130 hrs Sunday and 2100 hrs Monday.
According to the news report about the vehicle and guns seizures, 30 vehicles were seized, ten of them custom armored civilian vehicles, along with 13 rifles, 5.092 rounds of ammunition, 235 weapons magazines, 13 grenades (presumably 40mm launchable), two grenade launchers, one rocket launcher, one rocket, 11.595 kilograms of marijuana, and personal quantities of powder and crack cocaine.
A total of nine unidentified suspects were also detained.
Then on Wednesday, more than four metric tons of drugs were seized by Mexican federal security forces in Reynosa. A news account which appeared on the website of El Sol de Mexico said that a Policia Federal road patrol discovered two wine cellars at a location known as El Berrendo which is on the Reynosa to Monterrey-Nuevo Leon Highway, which were being used to store the drugs.
The seizure included four metric tons of marijuana and 100 kilograms of powder cocaine and 60 kilograms of crystal methampetamine. Weapons were also found at the scene but the type and caliber was not disclosed.
Thursday, local drug gangs were involved in gunfights and pursuits with local police. According to a news account which appeared on the website of El Diario de Coahuila news daily, the fighting began on Bulevar Morelos, where state police agents were involved in a pursuit of armed suspects. Blockades were put up by local gangs in Longoria and Rodriguez colonies.
Tamaulipas governor Egidio Torre Cantu was apparently visiting the area when the gunfights and pursuits took place.
Daily we continue to receive reports over social media of armed gunmen in convoy within the city limits of Reynosa. Roadblocks being established at various main intersections and the dangers of ponchellantas, nails bent and welded together meant to slow or stop pursuing vehicles.
As we reported previously, La Procuraduría General de Justicia y la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública del Estado continue to report only 2 people killed in the violence of March 10, even though the number realistically stands at 50 or more. The criminal gangs generally retrieve their dead before the authorities have the opportunity to intervene and gather intelligence from the corpses and wounded.
Following intense criticism of the practice of withholding information and a directive from the head of the PGR in Reynosa to forbid entrance of journalists into their compound on Blvd. Hidalgo, they relented somewhat, giving a statement claiming the death toll stands at 5. Three men and two women, unidentified.
The clash occurred at the corner of Avenida Mexico City and Washington Street, in the colonial Hacienda Las Fuentes.Among the dead are three men and two women, whose ages ranged from 25 to 30 years old, who have not been identified.The bodies were found by military units inside a 2002 sand color Chevrolet Tahoe, in which truck soldiers found several weapons and tactical equipment which was not identified.