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Mexican Navy says ambush by cartel was prepared and coordinated

Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas — A lawyer for the Mexican Navy says the ambush by a cartel over the weekend that left 13 wounded and several dead, was prepared and coordinated.

The assassins belonging to the Northeastern Cartel “prepared and coordinated” the ambushes against Navy personnel in the city of Nuevo Laredo last weekend, said attorney Juan Velázquez.

“They prepared to ambush a first convoy and when a second came out to support the first, another ambush was ready and then the third,” said the Navy legal advisor.

Velázquez says that the attackers used high-powered weapons, such as assault rifles and Barret-type rifles, whose impacts penetrated the armor of the Navy’s units.

The litigant said that the helicopter supporting the Navy personnel from the air did not shoot against the four civilians, three of which died since “all the bullet impacts that they presented are lateral and horizontal of shooters that they were standing on the ground, that is, at the same height of that truck,” in which they traveled during the confrontation.

The Navy of Mexico affirmed yesterday that a helicopter deployed to support its elements after they were ambushed in the city of Nuevo Laredo, did not kill the passers-by who died during the confrontations.

The Navy did not say how many civilians were killed, but local media reported Monday the death of a woman and two children.

Velázquez said that both the Navy and the Army have sophisticated weapons to fight organized crime, but they cannot use them because that would violate international treaties, since the country is not at war as such.

“They cannot use them, and if they do so in this fight against organized crime, they would be breaking international treaties and probably committing a war crime by using weapons of war against a civilian population,” he said.

This asymmetry, added the lawyer Juan Velázquez, puts the Army and the Navy in a disadvantage in the fight against the cartels that operate in the country, “although in some way there is a certain pairing in the discipline, training and in the physical conditions and health of the military.”

He said it was one of the most violent attacks the Navy has suffered and that of the 13 wounded in the confrontation, between four and six are “about to lose their limbs, legs, arms.”

In view of the violence that has taken place in recent days, the acting Governor of Nuevo León, Manuel González Flores, recommended that the citizens of the state not travel to the United States through the city of Reynosa, or do so with great care, as he stated “right now it has many problems” in terms of security.