A man from Weslaco, Texas was driving with his parents Tuesday afternoon over the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge across the United States-Mexico border, when he was stopped for what he thought was a routine check. However, he would later learn that the Mexican soldiers stopped him for reasons that were more serious than he could have imagined.
As reported by KRGV 5 News, the soldier grilled the man, who requested to remain anonymous, for several minutes. The questions were focused on the letters ‘CNG’ on the man’s license plate.
“What caught their attention was the license plate. You know, he asked me, what did they mean? I honestly did not understand his question. He’s like, why did I choose them?” Unbeknownst to the driver, the letters ‘CNG’ at the beginning of his license plate number were letters that the Mexican army associates with the Cártel Nueva Generación, or New Generation Cartel, a major Mexican drug cartel.
“At that moment you know, I was like, ‘Should I turn back? Should I keep going forward?'” said the Weslaco man. “I could be shot. I could be killed, you know. Or whatever.” He says that he’s now limiting his visits to Mexico. He is also considering using another car for those trips or changing his license plate.
“I’ve never been affiliated with [a drug cartel], and I don’t plan to, you know, be,” the driver said. He hopes his experience will inform drivers who cross into Mexico that soldiers at the border can misinterpret their license plate numbers. KRGV notes that the Mexican army also associates the letters ‘CDG’ with the Cártel del Golfo, or Gulf Cartel.
A representative with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles told the station that they have received calls in the past from drivers concerned about license plates with the string of letters, asking why they were issued. According to KRGV, the representative said, “it’s a coincidence.”
Video and more info: KRGV