UPDATE: Breitbart Texas reported as of Friday, July 13, Mayor Roberto “Betito” Gonzalez was released and resurfaced in General Treviño, Nuevo Leon, apparently unharmed.
A team of cartel gunmen kidnapped the mayor of the small rural border-town of Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, setting off a large-scale search and rescue operation. As of press time, the efforts to rescue the local politician has proven unsuccessful. Ciudad Mier sits immediately south of the Rio Grande Valley Sector of Texas.
The kidnapping took place on Thursday evening when Roberto “Betito” Gonzalez was at the plaza outside of the Ciudad Mier City Hall to celebrate his recent re-election victory. According to Mexican law enforcement sources, a team of gunmen riding in SUVs pulled up and forced the local politician into a vehicle before driving off.
The kidnapping of the local mayor set off a massive operation where Tamaulipas state police officers called on the Mexican military, and federal police, as well as state police officers from the nearby state of Nuevo León. Authorities set up roadblocks along dirt roads and highways that lead to both Reynosa and Nuevo León.
Gonzalez’s political victory and subsequent kidnapping comes just days after Mexico finished its 2018 electoral cycle which became the country’s bloodiest. From September 2017 to July 2018 Mexico had 136 politicians murdered and 581 attacks targeting politicians and political operators, Breitbart Texas reported.
Ciudad Mier is a small town just south of the banks of the Rio Grande, in an area east of the Falcon Lake Dam. The area is considered a “Magical Town” by the Mexican government, a special program aimed at preserving folkloric towns. In 2010, the town saw an exodus of approximately 300 residents who fled the area after receiving threats from Los Zetas cartel, The Monitor reported at the time. In 2010, Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel had started a fierce war for control of the border setting off large-scale gun battles and massacres.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Tony Aranda contributed to this report