(PresidentialInsider.com)- Cartel activity in Mexican border towns is escalating. On Saturday, gunmen in multiple vehicles staged several attacks throughout the Mexican border city of Reynosa that left 15 people dead and caused widespread panic throughout the city.
The attacks began in the early afternoon throughout several neighborhoods in the eastern section of the city which lays just across the Rio Grande from the Texas city of McAllen.
Listed among the dead were four of the gunmen involved in the attacks.
In response to the attacks, the army, National Guard, state police and other agencies were mobilized.
One of the attacks occurred near the infamous border bridge that spans the Rio Grande from Mexico into the US. The Tamaulipas state agency coordinating security forces said it was not clear if the others shot were random or targeted attacks.
According to authorities, one person had two women, apparent kidnap victims, in the truck of his car when he was apprehended.
Criminal activity within the Reynosa area has long been controlled by the Gulf Cartel. Recently, however, there have been fractures within the gang that could have prompted Saturday’s attacks.
On Monday, authorities said the total death toll from Saturday’s shooting now stands at nineteen.
As this is a multi-homicide investigation, the attorney’s general office announced on Monday that it would take the lead in investigating Saturday’s attacks.
According to the attorney’s general news release, three criminal cartels linked to organized crime and operating in the regions of Matamoros, Rio Bravo and Reynosa are believed to be involved in the attacks.
In a statement on Sunday, Tamaulipas Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca expressed his solidarity with the families of the innocent victims killed “as a result of these actions of organized crime in Raynosa.”
Rising cartel violence along the border is among the many concerns cited in objections to President Biden’s lax border security. Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray admitted in Congressional testimony that cartel activity is bleeding over the border into the United States.