Posted: Aug 17, 2012 8:35 PM
Updated: Aug 17, 2012 11:56 PM
MATAMOROS - Battles between the Mexican military and drug cartels are intensifying again in Matamoros after a period of relative peace, residents said.
"There is a lot of violence at times. Sometimes it changes and it's peaceful. Then there is a lot of shootings and blockades in the city," said Margarita, a Matamoros resident. "This is happening because there are a lot of drug traffickers."
She said the city was peaceful for approximately 10 months. Violence erupted again two weeks ago.
The Mexican government will send more soldiers to the city to deal with the violence, but not everyone thinks that is a good thing.
"There are different opinions about this. My opinion is that with all the soldiers people were scared," Margarita said. "The soldiers are very strict, not like police officers. Maybe the soldiers will impact the cartels. Maybe they will stop shooting the innocent. So it does help out a little bit."
Margarita said she loves Matamoros. She said the city was a thriving tourist destination. She said many areas of the city now are deserted.
"We always need to be alert and watching out for what's happening all over the city," she said. "It's like you are always looking over your back and listening and talking to residents. I am very cautious and always asking God to protect me so I won't become a victim."
Margarita hopes the cartels will stop using innocent people as pawns in their fight to smuggle drugs.