As the historic crisis at the southern border continues, Texas Department of Public Safety drones have recorded increasingly violent cartel activity just south of the recently reclaimed Fronton Island.
A recent border skirmish saw cartel members detonate explosives just across the Rio Grande.
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez, a spokesman for the department, shared the video, explaining, “Cartel Operatives continue to carry out their acts of violence & escalate their intimidation tactics directly across [from Fronton Island].”
As reported by The Dallas Express, Texas DPS has initiated a full-fledged operation alongside the Texas Military Department to end all cartel operations on the 170-acre border island. Fronton Island has long been a hotspot for drug smuggling, human trafficking, and armed incursions into Texas territory.
“The Mexican Drug Cartels remain the cause of ongoing gun battles in Los Guerra, MX, as the battle over lucrative smuggling routes intensifies,” Olivarez continued. “This has a direct impact on border operations & the safety of residents in Fronton.”
Infrared footage captured by a DPS drone shows several cartel members in the brush close to the Rio Grande throwing explosive devices before opening fire with small arms.
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
Other recordings previously released by Texas DPS show heavily armed cartel squads patrolling the Mexican side of the border across from Fronton Island and, in some instances, engaging in gunfights with rival cartels.
In response to the ongoing cartel presence in the area, Gov. Greg Abbott deployed a special operations group to retake Fronton Island, clear it of any cartel positions, and build barriers to prevent future access. The mission, codenamed Operation Flat Top, has so far been a success, and Texas forces have planted the state flag on the island.
As the situation at the southern border continues to heat up, the political battle between Texas and Washington, D.C., rages.
As reported by The Dallas Express, Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued key officials in President Joe Biden’s administration for allowing federal agents to assist migrants entering Texas unlawfully by cutting through state-deployed concertina wires. Conversely, the Biden administration sued Texas earlier this year for deploying buoys on the Rio Grande as a deterrent method, claiming it violated federal law.
Gov. Abbott described the situation in a recent speech, claiming, “We literally are at war with the White House, fighting to secure our own border.”