Mayor Comments on N.L. Consulate Blast: "I'm Very Concerned"
There is new footage out of Nuevo Laredo this evening of officers guarding the American Consulate Office a day after their building was bombed. Laredo city officials say the attack is alarming, and people on our side of the border are now worried about what may come next. Annette Garcia visits one Laredo neighborhood where people say the sounds of gunshots are all too familiar. She has our top story tonight.
"Soldiers are surrounding the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo two days after an explosive was thrown over the fence breaking the windows of the building. Authorities say the A.T.F. and F.B.I. are now investigating the attack. No one was injured, but Laredo City officials call the incident alarming and one that should be taken very seriously. "It was intended to send a message, obvioiusly, but when you have an explosive device, you don't know where it's going to hit. There may be an innocent bystander,' said Mayor Raul Salinas. Consulate officials say the office will remain closed pending a review of security measures. Meanwhile Laredo residents living near the river remain on the alert. (Annette): 'Reports of incidents across the border are making people in this neighborhood extremely nervous. They say it's been weeks since they've heard heavy gun battles across the street from their homes, and it hasn't stopped since then.' This man doesn't want to be shown on camera, but says since the February 19th battle heard clearly in the Azteca neighborhood, gunshots continue to be heard in the early morning hours. Neighbors, also fearing for their safety, have the same story. 'Some days,' says a nearby resident, 'things are calm, but on others, shots are heard, and sounds of law enforcement follow,' he says. People say they've seen heightened security in their neighborhood, but can't help but wonder how much worse the situation will get across the border. 'A bullet can hit us,' he says, 'we are afraid to go outside, and afraid for our kids,' he says. Annette Garcia, Pro 8 News.
Mayor Salinas says the lines of communication between law enforcement does remain open, and they are working hard to keep U.S. citizens safe. Meanwhile, American consulate officials are hoping to do the same by keeping the office closed until they are confident they have adequate security. Both the consulate office in Nuevo Laredo and the one in Piedras Negras will be closed to the public tomorrow, Monday April 12th. U.S. citizens needing information or emergency service numbers can log on to the website for details. That's www.nuevolaredo.usconsulate.gov.