There was nothing secretive about the death threats against Guadalupe García, a crime reporter in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, a busy border city of about 300,000 opposite Laredo, Texas. Her stalkers broadcast their intentions over the police radio. “You are next, Lupita,” a growling voice would say. “We are coming for you.” And on April 5, a young man with a gun ambushed García, known for her provocative stories that named names of those in the drug trade. She died 11 days later.
Mexico’s most ruthless drug organizations are fighting for control of Nuevo Laredo, a fast-growing hub of drug smuggling, reports the New York Times. Shootouts among armed men on busy streets evoke scenes of the Wild West. The violence has wreaked havoc across northern Mexico. In a recent week, according to the newspaper El Universal, more than 30 people were killed in drug-related violence, pushing the death toll to a total of some 504 people this year. Among those killed was a legislator and a police chief. In Nuevo Laredo, authorities report that more than 55 people have been killed in drug-related violence this year.