A firefight between Mexican soldiers and drug cartel members that broke out in the border town of Reynosa on Tuesday was caught on film by Mexican broadcaster Mexicanal.
The video begins with reporter Miguel Turriza broadcasting live from the scene. As machine gun fire erupts, he lays down on the concrete to avoid stray bullets. Grainy images of police racing around, bullet casings, and corpses follow.
According to The Monitor, the fighting broke out after federal authorities raided the home of Héctor Manuel Sauceda Gamboa, a top leader in the Gulf Cartel, and killed him. Reports of the death toll vary, ranging from five to twelve dead, including five soldiers. The Mexican Defense Department denied any soldier died in the running battle across the streets of Reynosa, according to The Houston Chronicle.
The imagery provides visual evidence of the war the Mexican government faces, described by former drug czar, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, in a December 2008 memo to West Point:
The outgunned Mexican law enforcement authorities face armed criminal attacks from platoon-sized units employing night vision goggles, electronic intercept collection, encrypted communications, fairly sophisticated information operations, sea-going submersibles, helicopters and modern transport aviation, automatic weapons, RPG’s, Anti-Tank 66 mm rockets, mines and booby traps, heavy machine guns, 50 [caliber] sniper rifles, massive use of military hand grenades, and the most modern models of 40mm grenade machine guns.
What follows is a videotaped copy of the broadcast from YouTube.com.