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By THE PULSE NEWS MEXICO STAFF

The U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros issued a security alert for all Americans on Saturday, Oct. 23, recommending they avoid travel to and within that Tamaulipas city because of the bloody shootout between police and suspected drug cartel operatives that occurred there on Friday, Oct. 22.

The Consulate also extended the travel alert to the entire border state of Tamaulipas because of its high crime and kidnapping rate.

“Following last night’s clashes between Mexican authorities and criminal armed groups, officials from the United States Consulate in Matamoros will restrict their movements to home, work and the United States ports of entry during daylight hours. They will shelter in place between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.,” the advisory said.

The advisory went on to warn that all U.S. citizens who do travel to the city avoid crowds and keep a low profile, and to “evaluate your personal safety and movements in Matamoros, monitor the local news for updates, follow the instructions of local officials and, in an emergency, call 911.”

Starting at about 9 p.m. Friday night, a series of attacks were unleashed against state police and the members of the Mexican Army (Sedena) by heavily armed gunmen in the city’s central commercial district, near the Plaza Fiesta Mall, leaving at least three officers injured and three alleged drug cartel members dead, along with one civilian.

The armed gangs also set up blockages and burned vehicles in various parts of the city, which borders with Brownsville, Texas.

Sedena personnel later managed to arrest four men who had allegedly participated in the shootings.

Among the dead, according to Matamoros police reports, was Ariel “El Tigre” Treviño Peña, head of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel Scorpions faction, which covers Matamoros and Nuevo Progreso.

Matamoros is considered ground zero for the Gulf Cartel.

 

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