In the midst of the public debate over the end of the Title 42 immigration policy, shocking video emerged of a firefight between two rival cartels near the U.S.-Mexico border that led to nearly a dozen deaths.
The violence occurred during a racing event in Baja California. While initial reports of the shootout indicated ten dead, video emerged of the gunfight alongside a revised figure of eleven deaths.
Video posted on Twitter shows several armed men shooting at vehicles on Saturday afternoon. The video showed panicked bystanders running for cover.
The attack reportedly occurred due to a fight between two rival syndicates, the Arellano Felix Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel.
The firefight led to a response from numerous Mexican police agencies, as well as the Mexican Army and National Guard.
Eyewitness footage captured a heavy security presence at the scene of a shootout where at least 10 people were killed and nine injured in Baja California https://t.co/iV1PQTBZQS pic.twitter.com/i1ZZUh6pmf
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 21, 2023
Baja California is one of the major thoroughfares of the illegal drug trade into the United States. Last week Mexican authorities declared that they had seized more than 39 tons of cocaine in the state.
While the violence was not directly tied to the end of the Trump-era immigration restriction, it underlines conservative criticism of the Biden administration’s approach to the southern border. A number of conservatives accused the president of pursuing policies that could bring a number of issues, including fentanyl into the United States.
The end of Title 42 has placed considerable pressure on federal law enforcement agencies and precipitated a significant wave of migrants attempting to cross the border.
Current estimates are that up to 13,000 migrants per day could cross the border due to the end of Title 42. Earlier this month, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported the highest number of attempted border crossings on record.
Furthermore, Mexico has seen a significant wave of violence linked to the drug trade this year.
Last month, Mexican authorities announced that they had found eight bodies at a Cancun resort. The bodies were of missing individuals found about 10 miles from Cancun’s famous beach.
The Mexican government currently estimates that there are more than 100,000 missing people in the country.