Posted: Jul 23, 2014 6:33 PM
Updated: Jul 23, 2014 6:37 PM
NUEVO PROGRESO - At least 10 people died Tuesday night in shootouts in and around Nuevo Progreso.
The firefights started in Rio Bravo and spread to Nuevo Progreso and the highway connecting Reynosa and Matamoros.
On Wednesday, Nuevo Progreso residents denied there was ever a firefight in the city.
"Stuff like that happens ... but not in this town. It's just too small of a town for them to create any type of chaos like that," Juan Ricardo Badillo said.
Badillo moved to Nuevo Progreso six years ago.
"I didn't hear much. I just heard there was a shootout ... but it wasn't in town," Badillo said.
The shootout between two criminal organizations happened in the outskirts of Rio Bravo. The clash spread to Nuevo Progreso and then to the Matamoros-Reynosa highway. That's when the gunmen met federal forces.
The firefight intensified and lasted three hours.
Nuevo Progreso residents didn't want to scare away American tourists. Some vendors said the shootouts happened in Reynosa.
"I heard there was one dead, but in Reynosa. Everything here is quiet here ... no problems," the vendor said.
Some Nuevo Progreso residents and business owners said the Rio Grande Valley can be more dangerous.
"I was on Facebook and I saw a shootout in La Joya. Nowadays, guns are everywhere. There's violence is everywhere," Badillo said.
The streets in Nuevo Progreso were nearly empty a day after the violent clashes.
The Mexican government provided little information about the deadly firefights.