“10 Killed in Border Town”
In the past there have been Nuevo Progreso Reports from on the scene in Mexico. Now that has changed. Nuevo Progreso in the past was more or less violence free, It had it’s own little cartel that shook down the townsfolk and was engaged in various rackets. Now spillover violence has reached what once was perhaps the quietest Mexican town in the Rio Grande Valley.
July 22, 2014 a gunfight erupted in the sleepy tourist town. According to sources, one group of cartel gunman were being pursued by another group and to get away the pursued group took the exit from the Reynosa-Matamoros Highway and ended up on the southern outskirts of N.P. While there is little to no law enforcement in Nuevo Progeso, the Mexican Army is always close by. So from there the situation evolved into a gun battle with the Military. The end result was 10 fatalities.
Now was this just an anomaly for Nuevo Progreso, a set of circumstances that just happened to come together? Possibly so…Shoot outs and gun play have been scarce over the years in the area, but with the almost 100% lawlessness in the region, and the multi-billion dollar drug and now perhaps equally as lucrative human trafficking business, there could be changes. All real estate along the border useful for criminal enterprise is going up in value. It’s not just the high traffic ports of entry that are valuable for smuggling. Also, human trafficking does not need a bridge, floating or swimming across the Rio Grande work fine.
The new wild card here is the transport of Central American women and children. All they have to do is get across and contact the border patrol, and they have what they would like to call a “permiso” to stay for years in the United States. Also while Immigration is busy with the “rendidas” (persons that are giving themselves up) the cocaine and marijuana contrabandistas have pretty much a free path to profit from the situation.
So what has changed? The answer is while the news along the Rio Grande has various unchanging themes, the situation is fluid and ever changing. For the tourist and business traveler the same rules apply. Exercise caution, limit activities and times of visits, change routes, be unpredictable, and never act rich or well off, among other things to do or not to do.
The real danger along the border is not so much becoming collateral damage in shoot outs, but falling victim to extortion and kidnapping. Also crime reaches across the border and home invasions are common, and extortion is a possibility for anyone with relatives south of the border.
With all that is going on, Americans still need medication, medical and dental work, and other important services from below the border. Exercise extreme care at all times and as far as the hope of help from the governments involved, I don’t hold out much hope.