Shootout between Mexican soldiers and cartel members leave 9 dead in Tamaulipas

 “MX” for Borderland Beat

The shootout concluded near the Rio Grande River; 9 gunmen were killed

Mexico’s Attorney General’s office in Reynosa confirmed that 9 suspected cartel members were killed in a shootout with the Mexican Army on Sunday morning in the municipality of Miguel Aleman, across the U.S.-Mexico border from Roma, Texas. According to the report, the soldiers came under fire from gunmen while on patrol. Authorities claim that the gunmen tried to ambush them. The shootout began in Lucha Social neighborhood at around 10:00 a.m. and ended in a rural lot close to the Rio Grande River.

By the number of shots that were fired, it is estimated that the total number of attackers was around 30. Many of the survivors fled on foot. No arrests were made and no injuries were reported from either side. Those killed during the shootout wore military-like uniforms, bulletproof vests, military boots and were sporting AK-47s. The bodies were recovered by the Forensic Medical Service for their official identification.

Investigators did not confirm which criminal group was involved in the attack. There are two rival drug cartels competing in the area: the Metros faction of the Gulf Cartel (CDG) and Zetas splinter group known as the Northeast Cartel (CDN).

Another shootout was reported in Las Americas neighborhood in Miguel Aleman the following day. No casualties were confirmed.

Borderland Beat analysis

Miguel Aleman Municipality, where the shootout occurred, is located in La Frontera Chica, (also known as La Ribereña), a border stretch in Tamaulipas. In the context of the Mexican Drug War, it is a lucrative drug corridor currently under dispute by the CDG and CDN. The CDN, based in Nuevo Laredo, is trying to expand east into La Frontera Chica, which has historically been controlled by the CDG.

The CDG commander in the area is Cesar Morfin Morfin (“El Primito”). There are rumors that El Primito has changed several plaza bosses in the area in efforts to push the CDN out of La Frontera Chica. Another high-ranking CDG member in the area is Metro 37 and/or Comandante Roblado, whose gunmen led a failed ambush against soldiers last month. The CDG in La Frontera Chica has the backing of the Nuevo Leon faction reportedly headed by Comandante Cubano.

The gunmen involved in the shootout were wearing military-like uniforms

Both national and international media outlets reported that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) was supporting the CDG in the area and that they were involved in this shootout. However, as reported by Borderland Beat, the CJNG’s involvement in Tamaulipas is an unconfirmed rumor. These rumors have been around since at least 2019.

Sources: La Jornada; WP; El Mañana; Televisa