A shootout took place on July 3 in Nuevo Laredo between the Cartel Del Noreste (CDN) faction of Los Zetas and military forces. In the initial clash, troops killed 12 gunmen with four more dying in a subsequent skirmish. As Breitbart Texas reported at the time, gunmen wore military-style uniforms and drove makeshift armored SUVs. According to Mexican Army Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval, the entire squad of 24 soldiers is under investigation.
The shootout was recorded on bodycam video. Newly leaked footage purports to show one of the cartel gunmen surviving the clash with soldiers killing him afterward. Human rights activists claim three others who died in the shootout were actually cartel kidnapping victims.
Nuevo Laredo has long been considered a stronghold of the CDN-Los Zetas where military and police have not been able to penetrate. The cartel asserts control with armored convoys patrolling city streets. The weapons and equipment used by the cartel match the Mexican military and exceed local/state police.
Each time authorities manage to make progress, Raymundo Ramos, a cartel connected human rights activist, makes claims of official brutality. Raymundo Ramos has never spoken out against the CDN-Los Zetas despite their longstanding campaign to kidnap, extort, assault, and murder local residents and tourists.
The latest investigation sparked outrage among military officials who spoke with Breitbart Texas. They point to a decrease in morale as the Lopez Obrador administration pushes for the use of non-lethal force.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Aranda from Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report