A gun battle between authorities and cartel members in a border city near Texas has left at least 21 people dead, including at least four police officers, officials confirmed Sunday.
Fox has reported that the deadly firefight took place on Saturday afternoon and lasted approximately an hour.
Coahuila state Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme told local news outlets that suspected cartel members engaged in the gun battle in the small town of Villa Union, approximately an hour south of the Texas border.
During the exchange of fire, Riquelme says that seventeen members of the deadly gang were killed, but four Mexican police officers also perished in the fight.
Mexican officials say security forces have killed seven more members of the gang that attacked a town near the U.S. border, bringing the overall death toll to at least 21. https://t.co/lAS7ZK7mlG
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 1, 2019
He says that several municipal workers are also missing after the chaos.
Authorities said that the incident began after members of the local cartel allegedly stormed into the small town of 3,000 residents in a convoy of trucks. During the onslaught, they reportedly attacked local government offices, prompting a federal response from Mexican officials.
Ten cartel members were originally part of the death toll, but as Riquelme said more information poured in, it appeared that another seven had perished in the fight.
The assault happened just days after President Trump announced that he was moving to label members of Mexican drug cartels as terrorists.
Images from the scene showed the carnage, with vehicles shot up and burned, and hundreds of bullet holes pierced into the side of local municipal buildings.
Reports said that videos and pictures from the scene began popping up on social media after Mexican officials decided to take back the town. Recent violence from cartel groups have not prompted decisive forceful reactions from the Mexican government.
At least 17 suspected cartel gunmen and 4 police were killed during shootouts over the weekend in a Mexican town near the US border. https://t.co/uzq09z9hm5
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 1, 2019
The Mexican government additionally noted that security forces would remain inside the small border city in the days after the violent outbreak.
“These groups won’t be allowed to enter state territory,” the government of Coahuila said in a statement.
Officials estimated that so far in 2019, the country has seen 29,414 homicides — up from last year’s numbers of 28,869 over the same period.
From police officers being assassinated in broad daylight for trying to take down drug kingpins, to seeing all out war break out into the street between the country’s military and drug running thugs, all the way to military bases having severed body parts delivered in bags to their entry ports.
Overall, if we had that going on in our country, we’d likely call it terrorism, and that is what Trump is considering labeling the cartel as. If you think people were offended, you’d be correct.
Mexico City announced efforts to have a “meeting” with U.S. officials after President Donald Trump’s recent announcement to designate some cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. In a drafted statement issued by Mexico’s Foreign Relations Ministry, officials reached out to their U.S. counterparts to explore the consequences that terrorist designations would entail.
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Ministry recent statement said the following:
“In lieu of the good relations that exist between both countries, the Government of Mexico will seek to have a high-level meeting as soon as possible to present Mexico’s position and to learn the viewpoints of the authorities from the U.S.”
The call for a meeting didn’t take long after an interview that happened between Bill O’Reilly and the President where Trump had dug into how he plans on labeling certain organizations within Mexico that have had a demonstrated history of terror, mentioning that he had been working for the last 90 days on designations.
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Ministry said they seek to discuss about methods to reduce the southern flow of weapons and money, while cutting the northbound traffic of drugs and chemicals that have been affecting the United States.
The latest statement stands at ends with the recent remarks given by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, where he preempted the matter Monday by saying Mexico would reject terrorist designations given by foreign nations.
“We will never accept that, we are not ‘vendepatrias’ (nation sellers),” Lopez Obrador said.
The question that could be reasonably posed toward President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is why he would feel like someone selling out a nation or his people by acknowledging the truth, that the cartels are in fact terrorists within the country of Mexico.
Believe it or not, it’s more that just certain Mexico political figures that are offended that their worst of the worst are possibly going to be called terrorists: we literally have people here in the United States that are offended by the notion as well.
Take for instance article titles like “A terrible idea”: Experts blast Trump’s plan to label Mexican drug cartels “terrorists”.
People are actually upset about it because that label would make it illegal for anyone in the US to knowingly provide support to the drug cartels. It would also allow the U.S. government to prosecute anyone who funds them, deport their members from America, and not any affiliate from entering the US. Call me crazy, but those all sound like some really good things.
Some others are offended about the idea of the cartels being called terrorists because it could prompt military intervention from the United States. However, Mexico has already shown that they can’t get the problem under control themselves and the cartel violence inevitably spills over into U.S. soil along with their community-wrecking narcotics.
Perhaps military intervention would make for a rather quick resolution and could possibly restore Mexico to a highly sought-after vacation destination throughout the country, rather than one state here and there.
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Whatever one may feel about the possible designation of cartels being called terrorists is honestly irrelevant, because they manner in which they operate today is synonymous with most any other terrorist organization.
The cartels display corpses of enemies in public, they’ve made execution videos of police officers and their families, and they seek to gain more power through fear. They are simply terrorists.
Earlier this month, five more Mexico police officers were killed after being in the southern state of Oaxaca… and two more are fighting for their lives after receiving serious gunshot wounds during the attack.
What’s it going to take to stop the attacks on law enforcement? According to Mexico’s president, “hugs, not bullets”.
The attack happened when a group of unknown gunmen attacked the squad of officers as they carried out a series of enforcement patrols in the area.
It’s suspected that the attackers were cartel related.
After the initial attack, the officers called for help, leading to a large-scale deployment of police officers and emergency medical personnel.
Emergency workers rushed the two wounded officers to local hospitals, while investigators brought the bodies of the fallen officers to a local morgue.
There was a video released by the citizen journalist page La Voz del Pueblo. It showed state police officers gathering at the morgue to express their sorry.
Así vivieron Policías Estatales la perdidas de sus compañeros que fueron emboscados por un comando armado.
— La Voz Del Pueblo (Oficial) (@LPueblo2) November 9, 2019
Oaxaca state officials went on social media shortly after, condemning the attack and vowing to bring justice to the families of the fallen officers.
The country has been overrun with extreme violence, and just a few weeks ago, Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stood defiant against those criticizing his government’s position.
El deceso de nuestros compañeros policías lastima a la SSPO y a toda la sociedad oaxaqueña. A sus deudos y familiares, nuestra solidaridad total.
Al límite de capacidades y valores, nuestros esfuerzos se encaminarán a que la justicia siempre se imponga a la barbarie.
— Sría. Seg. Púb. Oax. (@SSP_GobOax) November 9, 2019
Their policy is quite literally “hugs, not bullets” when fighting drug cartels. Criticism started mounting after nine Americans, including six children, were murdered by sicarios.
He said in a media briefing that violence isn’t the solution.
“It was lamentable, painful because children died, but do we want to resolve the problem the same way (as previous administrations)? By declaring war?” he asked. “That, in the case of our country, showed that it does not work. That was a failure. It caused more violence.”
He said love will fix everything.
“We are carrying out a different policy because the policy that was applied during 36 years was a resounding failure and it caused a lot of damage, a lot of sadness, a lot of deaths, a lot of losses for Mexicans,” he added. “We will not continue with the same and we will show that our proposal works, despite it not being easy. We are confident that we will achieve good results.”
He’s refused help from President Trump, who offered for help from the U.S. military in engaging drug cartels…. Leading to the front page of Mexico’s Reforma newspaper calling him out.
They said his government “washed its hands … and rejected help.”