Officials warn against crossing into Mexico after recent border violence
Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said people should avoid crossing into Mexico as the threat of gun battles continue between rival criminal organizations in Matamoros and Reynosa.
Dr. Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera said the situation an ongoing fight between criminal organizations that control Reynosa and those that control Matamoros.
“The leaders of these organizations have been arrested or killed, and now we have a different type of violence performed by factions of these organizations that are still armed, and would like to continue existing,” said Correa-Cabrera, , chair of the department of government at the University of Texas at Brownsville.
The professor said the situation has only gotten worse throughout the years and the violence is prompting alerts for American citizens traveling into Mexico.
“There’s no sense of security. This has taken place in the whole country and it’s gotten really bad in 2010 after the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel separated, and the situation is not getting better,” she said.
Some Matamoros residents said they feel safe traveling during the day but not at night.
“You do what you have to do during the day and then don’t go outside anymore because everyone is really alarmed with everything going on. I go out of my house and I don’t know if I’ll come back, but God is with me so when I go out I just trust him,” said Martha Rivera
If the Mexican government doesn’t take action soon, Correa-Cabrera said the violence there will only get worse.
“The municipal authorities in Matamoros, they have been alleging that the federal government has not done much and they tell people to go to their houses instead of coordinating with federal agencies,” said Correa-Cabrera.
Action 4 News reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to ask what is being done to keep Valley residents safe.
“We are aware of recent violent activity occurring on the Mexican side of the border, but for security reasons and in order to maintain the integrity of our operations, we are not at liberty to discuss specific security arrangements at our international bridges,” CBP said.
Border security is a critical part of CBP’s mission.