McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The South Texas border city of Laredo is getting back to normal but local officials were watching for any violence to spillover after gun battles by drug cartels earlier this week rocked its sister city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz told Border Report on Tuesday that “everything (is) normal” on the Laredo side.
But south of the border it’s unclear how safe the streets are after Mexican military arrested the top leader of a drug cartel, prompting a night of violence where trucks were burned, guns shot and grenades launched near the U.S. Consulate offices, according to Mexican officials.
In a joint statement put out Monday afternoon by the Mexican Secretary of the National Defense, Attorney General of the Republic, The National Intelligence Center, and the Mexican National Guard, Mexican officials acknowledged they had collaborated in the arrest of Juan Gerardo “N,” who goes by the nickname “El Huevo” (The Egg).
He was arrested late Sunday “in possession of two firearms that are used exclusively by the Mexican Army and Air Force,” according to a statement in Spanish.
He had three warrants for his arrest. In the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, he was wanted for extortion and organized crime. In the state of Coahuila, he was wanted for intentional homicide and terrorism.
He also had a warrant for extradition purposes for conspiracy for drug trafficking and money laundering.
Mexican officials said “El Huevo” is the leader of the criminal organization the Cartel Del Noreste and the Tropas del Infierno, an offshoot of the Zetas cartel, according to the statement.
He was transferred to a detention facility with the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office in Organized Crime Matter.
“The arrest of Juan Gerado ‘N’ (alias) ‘El Huevo’ represents a blunt blow to the dome of power of the Cartel Del Noreste,” according to the joint statement.
Mexican officials said additional National Guard troops were to be deployed to Nuevo Laredo, which is across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas.
Laredo Mayor Saenz told Border Report that local, state and federal partners are monitoring the situation and keeping open lines of communication in case of threats to Texas residents.
Two international bridges leading south from Laredo were temporarily shut down on Monday morning, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials told Border Report.
The “CBP Port Director is in direct communication with partners across in case any issues come up at the bridges on the Mexican side,” Saenz told Border report.
Saenz said Laredo Police also are monitoring for any signs of violence on the U.S. side.
“Everything is staying across, no spillover. We are also coordinating with state and federal partners to enhance operations along the river areas to further establish our presence,” Saenz said.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at Ssanchez@borderreport.com