Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador visited the border cities of Matamoros and Reynosa, Tamaulipas, to inspect the progress in a series of changes to the customs offices. However, during those visits, the president refused to address the growing cartel violence in the state. He instead claimed he had faith in the current governor.
On Saturday, President Lopez Obrador brought a large deployment of military forces with armored vehicles and helicopters as part of his security detail during his visit to Matamoros. As he arrived at the customs office at one of the three ports of entry in the city, Lopez Obrador did not stop to greet locals or to speak with local news outlets. In the streets, locals shouted for help in finding missing loved ones, better working conditions, and other petitions. The politician briefly acknowledged them claiming they would be heard.
Ayer y hoy recorrimos aduanas en Matamoros, Reynosa y Nuevo Laredo. Se rehabilitan 15 instalaciones; se han adquirido equipos de vigilancia (rayos X); se construye la oficina nacional de aduanas y un cuartel. Todo ello, con inversión cercana a 10 mil millones de pesos para hacer… pic.twitter.com/JInJv9XRfm
— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) May 14, 2023
Breitbart Texas and other local journalists tried to ask questions as the president drove by. When asked about the violence in the region, Lopez Obrador briefly said, “Have patience,” and stated that he trusted Tamaulipas Governor Americo Villarreal.
The visit by Lopez Obrador was private and his security detail did not allow business leaders or local media to enter the offices or to attend the meetings.
The Matamoros Mayor Mario “La Borrega” Lopez was also not invited to the event. The following day, Reynosa Mayor Carlos Pena Ortiz was invited to visit the customs offices in his city.
During the Reynosa visit, the politicians also refused to talk about the raging cartel violence that has plagued Tamaulipas. As Breitbart Texas reported, a series of turf wars within rival factions of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas brought violence to most of the state. In recent weeks, convoys of cartel gunmen in armored SUVs clashed along the state’s main highways and on dirt roads.
As Breitbart Texas has reported, Tamaulipas State Police forces which ultimately answer to Governor Americo Villarreal have largely avoided confronting cartel gunmen and have only been responding after the shootouts. Additionally, Breitbart Texas has also reported on the close relationship between Villarreal’s inner circle and criminal organizations such as the Gulf Cartel where, in the city of Mante, they have been able to operate large-scale extortion operations on locals with complete impunity.