As cartel violence continues, a video of cartel operatives detonating explosives during a skirmish on the southern border was captured by a Texas Department of Public Safety drone.
DPS spokesman Lieutenant Chris Olivarez posted the video on social media.
The video provides both thermal and non-thermal views of four Mexican cartel operatives launching two explosives just south of Fronton Island, near the Rio Grande.
𝐖𝐀𝐓𝐂𝐇: 𝐓𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐬 𝐃𝐏𝐒 𝐃𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐥 𝐎𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐅𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐨𝐧, 𝐓𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐬
Cartel Operatives continue to carry out their acts of violence & escalate their intimidation tactics… pic.twitter.com/pHwPt6odN8
— Chris Olivarez (@LtChrisOlivarez) October 25, 2023
“The Mexican Drug Cartels remain the cause of ongoing gun battles in Los Guerra, MX, as the battle over lucrative smuggling routes intensifies,” said Olivarez. “This has a direct impact on border operations & the safety of residents in Fronton.”
Olivarez stated that Fronton Island is “one of the most dangerous and cartel-influenced areas along the Texas-Mexico border.”
The 170-acre island is situated in the Rio Grande between Starr County and Mexico and is a hotspot for cartel trafficking.
Earlier this month, Gov. Greg Abbott authorized DPS to regain control of the island. On October 3, Texas Rangers planted a Texas flag on Fronton Island in the Rio Grande.
Following the placement of the Texas flag in Fronton, Abbott launched Operation Flat Top, which utilizes DPS and the Texas National Guard to secure Fronton Island, with authorization from Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham.
According to Olivarez, cartels are ramping up their acts of violence and “escalat[ing] their intimidation tactics” to regain control of the Texas island.
Exclusive look at @TxDPS & @TXMilitary operations on #FrontonIsland. In conjunction with #OperationLoneStar, Commissioner @DrBuckinghamTX @TXGLO authorized #OperationFlatTop for the State of Texas to secure one of the most dangerous & cartel-influenced areas along the… https://t.co/ao66aDBWVy
— Chris Olivarez (@LtChrisOlivarez) October 24, 2023
Abbott posted on social media that “this mission will help protect Texas from dangerous cartel activity.”
While the federal government has continued ignoring the issues created by an open border, the Texas State Legislature is now more than halfway through its third special legislative session. The day after the explosions were reported, lawmakers in the Texas House approved three border security measures.
Senate Bill 4 by State Sen. Pete Flores (R–Pleasanton) will increase penalties for human smuggling and operating a stash house. It establishes a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for violations of SB 4.
The third special session will end on November 7.