NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – A city official in charge of public security was gunned down along with another man in the downtown area of the embattled city of Nuevo Laredo (search) on Friday.
According to reports, it appeared to be an organized hit involving two cars.
Nuevo Laredo, just cross the border from the United States, has become one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Rival drug cartels have turned the city into a war zone as they battle for control of the lucrative illegal drug market in the U.S.
Gun battles in broad daylight are common, and the U.S. Consulate (search) has shut down, at least temporarily.
The drug gangs have killed the city's last two police chiefs, the second of whom lasted only six hours on the job. Widespread police corruption has compounded the problem. The entire 700-officer force was fired for corruption this summer, though many were hired back.
In addition to the killings, there has been an epidemic of kidnappings. There have been over 400 in the past year, including dozens of Americans.
FOX News’ Steve Harrigan talked to the families of one of the kidnapping victims.
“You could be walking down the street with your daughter and somebody comes up with an AK-47 and says, ‘I am taking your daughter, what are you going to do?'” said one man whose daughter was kidnapped 11 months ago.
Often, there are no ransom demands. Both of Rosita Gonzalez' sons were kidnapped, and she has no idea why.
"It's a pain that you can't have no appeal for it," said Gonzalez.
The Nuevo Laredo story that has gone largely unreported, as many journalists say the drug wars in there are too dangerous to cover, especially after a number of their colleagues have been gunned down.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (search), D-Texas, says it's time Americans became aware of what's going on just south of the border.
"We need to let the American public know about this particular situation," Cuellar said.
"Forty-one missing Americans is just too much."
Click in the box near the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' Steve Harrigan. Click HERE to read Steve Harrigan's blog.