Posted: Jun 23, 2017 8:07 PM PDT
Updated: Jun 23, 2017 8:07 PM PDT
Reported by Taylor Winkel

WESLACO – More than 2,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents across the Rio Grande Valley are on high alert.

A warning issued by the National Border Patrol Council said their safety is at an increased risk.

Hector Garza, NBPC vice president, said violence and open warfare increased recently in the area after the leader of the Reynosa Faction of the Mexican Gulf Cartel was killed. He said cartels are fighting over drug smuggling routes, adding to violence spilling over to the U.S. side of the border.

“It definitely creates a way bigger risk than your normal day to day activities,” explained Garza. "Our agents are on the front line. They're working the river banks. They're working the brush, so they're the ones that are right in line with this increase risk."

While the warning is issued for Border Patrol agents, Garza said the community around the border should heed the warning as well, and be vigilant in reporting situations that could be related to the cartel.