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Laredo Residents Cope with Cartel Wars

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Posted: Feb 12, 2013 7:25 PM

Updated: Feb 12, 2013 7:33 PM

LAREDO - Escalating violence along the U.S.-Mexico border in the Webb County area has many residents on edge.

Still, many are venturing south of the border despite the raging cartel wars. Many said the regular cross-border trips are a way of life.

"I went today to visit family," Israel said. The man traveled to Nuevo Laredo.

"There's a lot of problems ... too many problems," he said.

Israel said he risks his life to visit relatives on the other side of the border.

A new notice issued by the U.S. consulate in Tamaulipas warns U.S. residents to refrain from venturing south of the border. The warning comes after a spike in violence among criminal organizations, officials said.

"There is a lot of violence ... a lot of thieves," Sandra Lopez said. She travels during the day. Venturing out at night could be deadly, she said.

"It's dangerous. I cannot go out of my house like before," Lopez said.

The U.S. consulate in Nuevo Laredo reported at least eight murders and five arson attacks in less than two weeks.

Recent violence includes a series of gun battles and grenade explosions near the U.S. consulate office.

"I feel bad because I am Mexican," Israel said. He feels lucky to live in the United States.

"Here I feel safe and I'm not afraid," he said.

Topics: laredo, cartel violence, mexico, border, drugs

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