The U.S. consulate in Mexico's border city of Nuevo Laredo issued a warning on Wednesday night of intense gunfights across the city, reported Reuters.
"The consulate has received reports of multiple gunfights throughout the city of Nuevo Laredo. U.S. government personnel are advised to shelter in place. Actions to Take: Seek secure shelter. Notify friends and family of your safety.Monitor local media for updates," the consulate tweeted.
SECURITY ALERT: The Consulate has received reports of multiple gunfights throughout the city of Nuevo Laredo.— USCG Nvo Laredo (@USAConNVL) January 2, 2020
U.S. government personnel are advised to shelter in place.
Actions to Take:
Seek secure shelter. Notify friends and family of your safety.Monitor local media for updates.
Nuevo Laredo is a city in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The municipality sits on the Mexico-US border, and on the other side of the wall, lies the town of Laredo, Texas.
As I'm writing this, I can still hear the sound of gunfire coming from Nvo Laredo. For clarification, Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas (Mexico) are separated by the Rio Grande. (blue dividing line in photo) Yellow stars ID spots where gunfire took place earlier. pic.twitter.com/KFMsqqtUnG— KeyROSEcasual (@KeyroseLDO) January 2, 2020
In the last 15 hours, Twitter users have uploaded videos from the Laredo side, with audio of heavy-caliber machine gunfire in the distance from raging gun battles in Nuevo Laredo.
Video sent in a few minutes ago from my cousin who live in Laredo, TX a few blocks from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Gunshots are to be coming from the Mexican region, no word on any spillover here. The entire video doesn’t fit but has 2 and a half minutes of gunfire. pic.twitter.com/bu3B3mZNQV— Lisette Hernandez TV (@lisette_tv) January 2, 2020
NOCHE TERRORÍFICA PARA RESIDENTES DE #NUEVO_LAREDO #TAMAULIPAS— Tamaulipas R-T-C (@Tamaulipasrtc1) January 2, 2020
SICARIOS DEL #CDN_ZETAS DESATAN FUERTES ENFRENTAMIENTOS ARMADOS BLOQUEOS Y EMBOSCADAS HACIA ELEMENTOS DE LA POLICIA ESTATAL TAMBIÉN SE REPORTAN PERSONAS INOCENTES HERIDAS POR BALAZOS EN FUEGO CRUZADO pic.twitter.com/HudkEJsWPp
Outside my home, just 5 minutes away from nuevo laredo pic.twitter.com/5ZLfSUgQaZ— a d a n 🐉 (@adanxanguiano) January 2, 2020
One video even captured Mexican law enforcement engaging in a gun battle with cartel members.
Francisco Cabeza de Vaca, the governor of Tamaulipas, tweeted that cartels are primary the reason behind the spike in violence.
"After the cowardly attacks on the part of the Cartel of the Northeast in Nuevo Laredo, the (government of Tamaulipas) will not let down its guard and will continue acting with strength against criminals," he tweeted.
Laredo's Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar wrote in a Facebook post that "intensive shootings" between cartel members and Mexican police have turned parts of Nuevo Laredo into a warzone.
"Please avoid these areas and do not cross over to Nuevo Laredo," Cuellar warned. "It's been said that high-caliber machine guns and explosives are being utilized."
Cuellar said Webb County sheriff's deputies and the Laredo Police Department are monitoring areas near the border to prevent any spillover into the U.S.
President Trump recently threatened to designate cartels as terrorist organizations in response to the surge of violence across Mexico in 2019.