Protests Close Several Valley International Bridges

POSTED: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 6:43pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:32am

As many as 10 people are dead including a Mexican federal official. Also, protesters on the Mexican side also shut down three international bridges, claiming Mexican soldiers are abusing their rights. Tuesday’s protests closed the Hidalgo-Reynosa, Pharr-Reynosa and Los Indios International Bridges for hours, leaving hundreds stranded on both side of the borders.

Many drivers waited around until the Hidalgo International Bridge reopened today. Felipe Calderon waited since 9:00 a.m. to get across. He was crossing to Reynosa to take his mother to a doctor's appointment.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection closed border crossings at about 8:00 a.m. after concerns that Reynosa’s protest would get out of control.

“At about that time we could see a major difference in flow of traffic. Traffic stopped coming northbound.”

Vehicular traffic was stopped on both sides. Today’s protest involved many Mexican citizens and taxi drivers. They gathered near the point of entry to show discontent of the military presence on Mexican streets. Many held up signs that read, "Fuera soldados" or "Out soldiers".

Cab driver, Jesus Saldaña, was in charge of today's protest and tells us the reason he organized it. He says today's protest was needed because the Mexican military abuse the citizens of Reynosa. He went on to say soldiers mistreat everyone, from the taxi drivers to mothers and children.

The Hidalgo Police Department, along with the Hidalgo Sheriff's Department assisted federal officials during today's closings. The bridge was closed for several hours but re-opened at 3:00 p.m.

Officials say the protests are happening in Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa, Mexico.

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