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Prison in Mexican border city of Reynosa becomes new battleground in cartel war

June 10, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Prison in Mexican border city of Reynosa becomes new battleground in cartel war

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The raging cartel war for control of the Mexican border city of Reynosa has expanded from the streets into the state prison outside of the city.

Rival cells of the Gulf Cartel are battling over the profits made from extortion and illicit businesses operating inside the penitentiary.

This week, Tamaulipas state authorities dispatched close to 60 police and first responder vehicles to assist authorities at the prison in Reynosa with regaining control of a large scale riot that erupted.

One prisoner who is believed to have initiated the riot was killed during the uprising, Breitbart Texas reported.

Eight others were wounded but are expected to recover. Breitbart Texas cited unofficial reports that indicated that some of the injured inmates were shot.

During the incident, hundreds of family members lined up outside of the prison were asking for Warden Maria De Jesus Aldana to provide information about their loved ones inside.

Military elements, along with federal and state officers, used drones to supervise the prison as they moved from hotspot to hotspot trying to stop the fighting.

The riot occurred one day after a group of cartel gunmen attacked the van where the head of security for the prison, Jesus “Chuyito” Alvarez, was driving.

The attack took place along the Libramiento highway that cuts through Reynosa joining Matamoros with Monterrey.

One of the correctional officers was wounded in the attack while one gunman was killed. Alvarez lived through a similar ordeal just 15 days before when another group of gunmen attacked him along the Reynosa- Rio Bravo highway. The prison security chief managed to escape by getting to the military station on the highway.

For more than a year, rival factions of the Gulf Cartel have been struggling for control of the various drug trafficking and human smuggling territories in Reynosa and its surrounding areas.

The conflict has manifested itself through violent gun battles along the city streets, as well as an increasing number of kidnappings and murders. Since the violence began last May, the city has seen over 500 killings directly related to the internal cartel war.

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