Drug Cartel Attacks Mexican City, Leads to Chaotic Bloodbath and Increased Tensions Between the U.S. and Mexico
Last Sunday, a drug cartel and Mexican security forces violently clashed at a town near the Texas border and held an intense hour-long assault. Seven members of the cartel were killed in the altercation which brought the death toll to at 21.
Coahuila Governor Miguel Angel Riquelme detailed that among 14 other people died in the afternoon, four of them were police officers. Several municipal workers were also missing and it wasn’t clear if they had been located yet.
Lawmen were still chasing the remaining forces of the cartel that arrived in the city in a convoy of trucks and attacked the city hall of Villa Union on Saturday. The governor said the cartel stormed the town of 3,000 residents, attacking local government offices and causing state and federal forces to respond.
Mexico’s murder rate has increased excessively, rising 2% in the first 10 months of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s new presidency. According to federal officials, there have been 29,414 homicides in 2019 – n compared to 28,869 in the same period of 2018.
The incident took place 35 miles south-southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas. Burned-out vehicles and the front of city hall riddled with bullets could be seen in videos posted to social media, along with the sounds of rapid gunfire and frantic citizens telling friends to stay indoors.
Notably, Mexico has stated they will not accept any intervention from abroad.
This violent attack comes just weeks after nine U.S. citizens belonging to a Mormon group were murdered in a brutal ambush by drug cartel gunman while traveling in Mexico.
The Mormon family had dealt with cartel violence a decade before. In 2009, a teenager in the family was held hostage for ransom. Although the teen brother was released unharmed with no ransom paid, the cartel later murdered his brother, an anti-crime activist.
President Trump has revealed plans to designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. However, this idea has led to fear from those in Mexico that the designation could lead way to U.S. military action.
For that reason, the Mexican government is not interested in labeling cartels as terrorist organizations, demanding America to stay clear of the country’s worsening drug war.
Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement saying Mexico had reached out to U.S. officials to discuss designating cartels and to also “understand the meaning and scope” of Trump’s ideas.