GRAPHIC: Cartel Violence Spreads to Formerly Peaceful Cities in Mexican Border State
REYNOSA, Tamaulipas – Massacres, clandestine incinerations, gory executions and narco-messages are all becoming common in the border cities of Tamaulipas. The escalation is tied to rival Gulf Cartel groups spreading terror throughout the region as they fight for control.
The rising wave of violence also brought a spike of kidnappings and armed robberies. As Breitbart Texas reported, the war for Reynosa is now surpassing one year of bloodshed. The violence already led to more than 470 murders in a year, but in recent days it escalated even more when rival factions resumed their attacks.
Attacks and executions are spreading to the municipalities of Valle Hermoso, Matamoros, and San Fernando. The factions fighting for control are the Matamoros-based “Escorpiones” and “Ciclones,” against “Flako Sierra” from Reynosa, who once used the name “Metros.”
One of the recent attacks took place when an employee of the mayor of San Fernando was kidnapped by a team of gunmen at a machine shop owned by the politician. Soon after, the employees burnt body was found in the Ribereña neighborhood. Although the San Fernando region was previously peaceful, violence erupted in recent days, beginning with the death of a CDG leader from Matamoros known only as “Commander Comino.”
As a result of the escalating violence and in the face of possible attacks by the Reynosa group, the factions from Matamoros mobilized their foot soldiers called “Estacas” to Valle Hermoso and Rio Bravo. Almost as soon as the gunmen moved in, a series of abandoned SUVs began appearing throughout the region. The vehicles are left with their doors open, weapons inside, and bloodstains other traces of violence. It is unknown if these abandoned trucks were left after clashes or as evidence of kidnappings.
In addition to the ongoing gun battles between rival cartel groups, the struggle moved on to a series of threats through social media networks and posters left at gory crime scenes.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “A.C. Del Angel” from Tamaulipas.
Homeowners in Ireland have been asked to pledge spare rooms or vacant properties to house migrants for periods of up to a year as part of the government’s Irish Refugee Protection Programme.
In a new national campaign urging people to “put empty space to better use”, the Irish Red Cross said: “Pledging a vacant property or spare room will play a significant and valuable role in helping Syrian refugees rebuild their lives and settle in Irish communities.”
As well as calling on homeowners to pledge spare beds or rooms, the charity also wants holiday homes, second homes, and any other vacant properties in Ireland to be offered up for the cause of housing migrants.
Any asylum seeker or refugee housed through the scheme would be given a caseworker who provides them with education, healthcare, and employment support, explains the Irish Red Cross on its website.
The organisation, which was set up by Dublin nurse Elizabeth O’Herrin in 1939 to provide humanitarian aid, is administering the programme as part of Ireland’s effort to resettle 4,000 asylum seekers from camps in Greece and Italy.
While hundreds of free rooms and vacant homes were pledged in response to the organisation’s previous campaign in 2015, only 88 translated into actual accommodation for migrants, with many people withdrawing their offers once they were contacted by the Irish Red Cross.
Despite limited success with regards to the number of people housed, the scheme has been promoted as a win-win situation for both Irish natives and migrants by the organisation as well as in the mainstream media, almost entirely with one example of a Baldoyle woman.
Featured in multiple pieces across several Irish newspapers and on the Red Cross website, Mary O’Reilly’s story has been promoted as a major success as she reported being “enriched” by her decision to welcome a 26-year-old Syrian man into her home looking out onto Dublin Bay.
“I have a house here with a spare room and I heard somebody say — and it was so true — the only difference between them and us is luck and it is, it’s just luck,” she said. “Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s my nature, but lots of people take in an Irish person. What’s the difference, are we not all the same?”
Reporting that the arrangement was working well, the Red Cross said Mary was pleased to be “here to help” Wassim after taking redundancy to look after her mother, who died four years previously.
The Syrian has become “like one of the family”, she told Dublin Live, remarking that being able to sample the food he cooks is like “having an injection of Middle Eastern culture into my home”.
“I love different cultures. I went to Cuba this year. I love travelling and I would love to have gone to Damascus, but now I have this culture come and live with me.
“If there’s one downside to having Wassim stay with me it’s that he gets on a little too well with Lolly, my Tibetan terrier. It’s double the tidbits for her,” Mary added.
A teenager “wept” during a forced marriage ceremony in Pakistan to the man who had impregnated her years before as a 13-year-old child, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
In circumstances similar to another ongoing forced marriage trial, the teenager was allegedly duped into going on a family holiday to Pakistan while her mother conspired to force her into marrying a relative against her will.
The Birmingham woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court that she was ordered to marry the Pakistani national, who is 16 years her senior, almost immediately after she finished cutting her birthday cake, reports BirminghamLive.
“I started crying to my mum, saying ‘I don’t want to get married,’ but apparently it was organised before and she couldn’t do anything about it because her reputation would go down,” the 19-year-old told the jury on Monday.
Days after her 18th birthday in August 2016, the young woman wept during her wedding and told the Pakistani imam officiating the ceremony that her mother was forcing her to marry. Her mother, who also cannot be named, then led her to another room to meet her “husband”.
The crown has described the young woman as being highly vulnerable with special education needs.
“I was upset because I didn’t really want to get married to him because I was already in a relationship with someone else,” she added.
“After everything that happened with him when I was 13, I didn’t exactly want to marry someone like that, and he was a lot older than me.”
Birmingham Crown Court heard last week that in 2012 on a previous visit to Pakistan, an imam oversaw the betrothal between the then-13-year-old girl and a 29-year-old man should would later be forced to marry.
Her “fiance”, who is her stepfather’s nephew, raped the child that night. On the family’s return to the UK, she found she was pregnant and an abortion was arranged.
Traumatised by the rape and abortion, the girl turned to alcohol and drugs and was taken into emergency foster care. She then became vulnerable to child sexual exploitation, was raped again, and had a second abortion.
Wiping away tears, the young woman told Birmingham Crown Court that she felt she was an “object that could be moved from place to place”.
Describing her isolation and vulnerability, she said: “I knew I was in Pakistan. I had nowhere to go. I had to do whatever was asked.”
Authorities became involved after the young woman returned to the UK shortly after her marriage. Her mother faces two charges related to forced marriage, a third charge of perjury, and a fourth charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice. The trial is ongoing.
Breitbart London reported Tuesday of an ongoing trial of a woman who claims her parents tricked her into going on a family holiday to Bangladesh with the purpose of forcing her to marry. This time, the British Consulate intervened before the marriage and the court heard that the teenager ran “screaming” from her family during her rescue.
To date, only one forced marriage case in England has led to a prosecution.
This is despite the government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) identifying more than 8,000 cases since 2010 and logging nearly 1,200 forced marriages last year alone, with the organisation saying that number “may not reflect the full scale of the abuse”.
More than one third – 439 – of the forced marriages either took place or were due to take place in Pakistan, followed by Bangladesh with 129 reports in 2017.
Cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), also commonly associated with Islamic culture, have resulted in not one single conviction in the UK.