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Mexico shootout slows Texas border truck traffic

Mexican authorities set up highway checkpoints slowing commercial traffic through Laredo

A shootout between gunmen and Mexican authorities has jammed up commercial traffic through Laredo, Texas, according to officials.

The incident occurred Wednesday night, when gunmen tried to enter the Mexican state of Coahuila along the U.S.-Mexico border. They were confronted by law enforcement agents, according to a statement from the Public Security Secretariat of Coahuila. 

After the incident, Mexican authorities set up checkpoints on several federal highways leading north toward Laredo looking for suspects, said Armando Taboada, assistant director of field operations at the Laredo Field Office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“Because of the violence yesterday, there’s Mexican law enforcement present on the Mexican side, and they have checkpoints, they held traffic, because I believe they found some bodies,” Taboada told FreightWaves. 

“They are not blocking the bridges. The flow of trucks is still flowing into the World Trade Bridge and Colombia Solidarity [International] Bridge because of the checkpoints from the Mexican military and Mexican police.”

About 6,000 commercial trucks cross the World Trade and Colombia Solidarity International bridges each day. 

Ernesto Gaytan, general manager of Laredo-based Super Transport International, said the violence and police checkpoint have caused some of his trucks to lose a day’s worth of transit time.

“We’re definitely going to be behind. It’s been hours. There’s a lot of carriers between the Colombia Solidarity Bridge and World Trade Bridge, so a lot of trucks will be affected. Thankfully, it happens in Mexico, you never see the violence spill over to the U.S.,” Gaytan said. 

The clash occurred around 7 p.m. Wednesday when men aboard 30 pickup trucks tried to enter Coahuila state territory through a dirt road known as the “gas gap,” which is parallel to the Rio Grande River and Mexico Federal Highway 2.

The highway connects the Mexican states of Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, and is less than 5 miles from the Colombia Solidarity Bridge and 10 miles from Laredo’s World Trade Bridge. The gunmen were repelled by state and federal security forces.

It’s not clear why they were trying to enter Coahuila, nor whether they were attempting to cross the border.

After the shootout, the armed civilians fled back to the Mexican town of Anáhuac.

“The confrontation left three civilians with injuries that did not endanger their lives, as well as a vehicle of the security forces damaged by fire,” Mexican authorities said.

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  2. This is not the first time there at the Laredo border. Nothing new here. Cartels battling over narcotics turf and profit. True that you rarely see the cartels shootout on the American side. But the damage is already done from the extreme demand of Mexican narcotics in America. The American shootouts occur between local gangs here. America needs to clean out their yard before demanding their neighbor clean up his.

  3. Muslims killing for their religion point system to get closer to their next level. Walk around truck stops to see if theirs a dash camera in the window facing the driver and facing out the front before they will mess with the truck. They shoot into the back of the sleeper then get in their driving as their own trucking company truck and leave the truck stop.

Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact