Skip to main content

Authorities search for Nuevo Laredo police chief

By Nick Valencia, CNN
February 19, 2013 -- Updated 1751 GMT (0151 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Roberto Alejandro Balmori Garza was last seen over the weekend, official says
  • Reports say his 2 brothers were found shot dead in neighboring Nuevo Leon state Sunday
  • Nuevo Laredo has been the scene of violent attacks in Mexico's drug war

(CNN) -- The police chief of the violent Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo has been missing for days, and state authorities are trying to find him, the Tamaulipas Attorney General's Office told CNN early Tuesday.

Travel warning: Violence spreading in Mexico

Roberto Alejandro Balmori Garza was last seen over the weekend, spokesman Ruben Dario Rios said. Local media report that Balmori Garza's two brothers were found shot dead in the neighboring state of Nuevo Leon on Sunday. Local reports said one of his brothers was a federal prosecutor.

The Attorney General's Office would not confirm those reports to CNN. Widespread drug cartel-related violence has scared local officials into revealing little information about ongoing investigations.

Outgoing Mexican president defends legacy in wake of drug war

The state Attorney General's Office "has instructed a delegation in Nuevo Laredo to correspond to the respective authorities to establish the collection of information leading to determining the city official's whereabouts," a news release said.

In 2005, the police chief in Nuevo Laredo was gunned down on his first day on the job. In 2010, gunmen also killed a retired army general put in charge of police there.

Read more: Mexico's invisible women

Nuevo Laredo has been the scene of violent attacks in Mexico's drug war.

Like most Mexican border cities, it offers rows of bars, inexpensive dentists, restaurants and cultural events to draw tourists. But tourism has sharply declined in the past six years as drug cartel violence has spiraled in Mexico. Because of the various bridges into the United States and access to a major highway, rival drug cartels are vying for control of Nuevo Laredo.

Gunmen rape 6 tourists near Acapulco, Mexico

Los Zetas, arguably the most violent Mexican drug cartel, are headquartered in Nuevo Laredo, which sits directly across the border from Laredo, Texas. The group has operations in at least 11 Mexican states and has been in a bloody turf war in northeast Mexico with the rival Gulf Cartel for the last several years.

In late 2011, the Texas Department of Public Safety warned against holiday travel to Nuevo Laredo, citing information that the Zetas may be targeting U.S. citizens.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
April 19, 2014 -- Updated 0122 GMT (0922 HKT)
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
April 19, 2014 -- Updated 0356 GMT (1156 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 0940 GMT (1740 HKT)
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT