14 die in gun fights in Matamoros subject logo: MEX2013
Posted by: badanov

For a map, click here. For a map of Tamaulipas state, click here

By Chris Covert

A total of 13 unidentified individuals were killed in three separate gunfights between criminal gangs and Mexican security forces in the northern Mexican border city of Matamoros Sunday, according to Mexican news accounts.

News accounts and Twitter reports say that other gunfights have taken place between two rival factions of the Gulf Cartel, with an unknown number of those killed.

According to a news account which appeared in Milenio news daily Monday, the gunfights took place starting at 1200 hrs in Esperanza colony at the 12 kilometer marker of Mexico Federal Highway 2. The news report doesn't say which federal force was involved, only that four men and a woman died in that encounter.

The force encountered a group of civilians traveling aboard one GMC Terrain 2012 and a Ford Explorer. In addition to the two SUVs, security forces also seized three rifles, one semiautomatic pistol, ammunition and tactical gear.

The second incident took place at 1605 hrs on Kilometer 2 of the Mexico Highway 2 near La Joroba, where a Mexican Naval Infantry road patrol gave chase to four armed suspects who were traveling aboard a Cadillac Escalade. Four armed suspects died in the subsequent exchange of gunfire. Mexican marines also sezied three rifles, ammunition and weapons accessories.

The third incident took place on Avenida El Niño 20 minutes later when another Mexican Naval Infantry road patrol came under small arms fore from armed suspects. Marine counterfire killed four in that incident.

In a separate incident the mother of a top Tamaulipas state ministry official was found dead Monday, according to a Notimex news account.

Consuela Garcia, mother of Monica Gonzalez Garcia was found dead in a residence near the intersection of Calle Paseo de la Reforma and 16th in San Francisco colony.

Gonzalez Garcia is Tamaulipas state Secretaria Desarrollo Económico y Turismo, or economic development and tourism minister.

No officials in any news report would confirm how Sra. Garicia died, but the Notimex news account said one unidentified official confirmed she was found with her hands bound, so it is likely she was executed.

As of Monday night, residents in Matamoros are being warned not to venture outside of their homes because of intergang fighting in the city. Mexican news accounts have also reported a number of narcobloqueos, which are road blocks implemented by criminal gangs as a means of dealing with pursuits of rivals or of security forces.

In a stunning admission by a Mexican news organization, rival factions with the Gulf Cartel are currently engaged in recruiting new shooters in Matamtoros, using kidnapping. The Notimex news report said that an unidentified commander with the Ciclones criminal gang was kidnapping teens in the city to be used for gunfights with a rival faction Los Metroes.

News organizations very rarely name or even consider rival drug gangs in their stories, usually identifying them as armed civilians. The recruiting efforts by gangs in Matamoros are a common means with Mexican local gangs of quickly filling depleted ranks.

That means has recently been used in southern Chihuahua, for example, where local gangs had hijacked public buses to kidnap new recruits. The hijacking/robbery sprees was so bad, that young males or tens were not allowed on board buses.

The recruiting effort may also be for the purpose of rounding up victims for bloody displays the Gulf Cartel has been famous for. In the summer of 2012 in Nuevo Laredo, a Gulf Cartel faction rounded up a number of innocents, brutally slaughtered them and displayed the bodies as being their rivals, Los Zetas.

Tamaulipas state is the second most violent state in Mexico in 2013, the most violent in 2012. According to a separate news account the mayor of Matamoros, Norma Leticia Salaza, admitted in a separate news account in Milenio that Mexico's drive to certify local police has left her city with only 40 police, instead of 600 it should have.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com and BorderlandBeat.com. He can be reached at grurkka@gmail.com

If you have something to add, Fire Away!

Number of Comments so far: 0

Click here for a list of stories in the Post 2012 Mexico category