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U.S. issues travel warning to Tamaulipas after clashes between police and criminal groups

Matamoros, Tamaulipas — Employees of the U.S. Embassy in Matamoros have restricted their movements after the State Department issued a travel warning. The U.S. travel warning to the Mexican state of Tamaulipas was issued after a Friday night clash.

“Following last night’s clashes between Mexican authorities and criminal armed groups, U.S. consulate officials in Matamoros will restrict their movements to home, work, and U.S. Ports of Entry during daylight hours and shelter in place between 7:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M.” the American embassy said.

The State Department recommends U.S. citizens do not travel to the State of Tamaulipas due to crime and kidnapping. The warning came after the city witnessed blockades, shootings and clashes on the night of October 22.

On Friday night, at least four people were killed in a shootout between police and criminals. One of those killed was Ariel Treviño Peña, one of the priority targets of Mexican and U.S. authorities, said the governor of Tamaulipas, Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca.

Ariel Treviño Peña had aliases that included Javier Enrique Hernández Gutiérrez and / or Francisco Hernández Martínez. The shooting began after an attack on military and state police.

Authorities in Matamoros were carrying out patrol work in the city when they located several suspicious vehicles. After disregarding the police request to stop their vehicles, they began to flee, shooting at authorities.

The State Coordination Group for the Construction of Peace of Tamaulipas reported in a statement that three of the four deceased were members of the Gulf Cartel. The other death corresponds to a civilian who died collaterally. Two others were injured.