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NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico (AP) - The U.S. consulate in Nuevo Laredo will reopen, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico said Friday, a week after announcing the offices would be closed amid rising violence in the border city.
U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza made the announcement to reopen the consulate - which had closed to all but emergency services - shortly after gunmen killed a city councilman and one of his bodyguards.
In a statement, Garza said the councilman's killing underlined the need to crack down on crime, but would not affect the decision to reopen the U.S. consulate Monday, a week after it closed.
"This morning's tragic event once again highlights the need for Mexico to stand resolute in its effort to rescue Nuevo Laredo from the hands of the kingpins and capos that are actively undermining the fabric of life in both our countries,'' Garza said.
While Mexican officials had called the consulate closure and over-reaction, Garza said the Friday killing proved that unusual measures were justified.
"One week ago, I asked the government of Mexico to take swift and what I then called decisive action, and in my view, they have done so,'' he said, but did not cite specific actions.
His decision to close the offices, announced July 30, came after an attack at a private residence that included rocket launchers and grenades. Nuevo Laredo has logged more than 100 homicides since January, including the city's police chief who was gunned down hours after taking office in June.
Garza met with Mexican Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal on Wednesday.
"In the past few days, I have worked with my Mexican government counterparts, to gauge the state of criminal activity along our border, and obtain security assurances and an agreement on what needs to be done.''
He promised the United States would do all that it could to help Mexico defeat drug gangs who are fighting to control smuggling routes into the United States.