4 die in Tamaulipas state subject logo: MEX2013
Posted by: badanov

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By Chris Covert


Even as Mexican federal security forces seized drugs, guns and cars following last weekend's bloody gun battles in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, a total of five unidentified individuals were found dead Friday night in Reynosa and in or near Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas state, according to press accounts and official government news releases.

A late report which appeared on the website of Durango based Yancuic.com said that a joint Mexican Army and Tamaulipas state police patrol located the body of a man left aboard a Ford pickup truck near the intersection of calles Occidental and Praxedis Balboa following an exchange of gunfire.

The government does not make it clear if the victim, identified as Édgar José Zertuche Botello, was killed as part of the gunfight with Mexican Army and local security forces. The report does say, however, that weapons and tactical gear were found in the truck.

The report also says that Mexican Army units have been involved in fighting at several points in Reynosa.

According to a news release posted on the Tamaulipas state Procuraduria General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE), or attorney general the victims in Ciudad Victoria were located Thursday evening and early Friday morning.

Two men were found shot to death near the intersection of Calle Felipe Arredondo Vega and a private drive in Las Cumbres colony. Both victims were in their 20s and both were shot once in the head with a .40 caliber weapon.

Meanwhile Thursday evening two unidentified men in their 30s were found tortured and shot to death in Ciudad Victoria. The victims were found on Libremento (Bypass) Unidos Nacionales between the Matamoros and Monterrey exits.

The PGJE in its news release makes mention that the victims were the victims of a local gang rivalry, which one gang won. The mention probably means a message was left at the scene. No gang was identified as the culprit in the shooting.

In Reynosa Thursday local drug gangs were involved in gunfights and pursuits with local police. According to a news account which appeared on the website of El Diario de Coahuila news daily, the fighting began on Bulevar Morelos, where state police agents were involved in a pursuit of armed suspects. Blockades were put up by local gangs in Longoria and Rodriguez colonies.

Tamaulipas governor Egidio Torre Cantu was apparently visiting the area when the gunfights and pursuits took place.

Wednesday, more than four metric tons of drugs were seized by Mexican federal security forces in Reynosa. A news account which appeared on the website of El Sol de Mexico said that a Policia Federal road patrol discovered two wine cellars at a location known as El Berrendo which is on the Reynosa to Monterrey-Nuevo Leon Highway, where the drugs were being stored.

Almost four metric tons of marijuana, 100 kilograms of powder cocaine and 60 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine were seized.

The news report also said that weapons were also found at the location but the number and type were not disclosed.

On Tuesday a news release by the Mexican Secretaria de Defensa Nacional (SEDENA) said that 30 vehicles, guns and drugs were seized in the aftermath of the bloody confrontation in Reynosa. The seizures took place between 1130 hrs Sunday and 2100 hrs Monday.

Tamaulipas government sources have claimed that only two individuals were found dead following a three hour gun battle in the city, while local residents through Twitter and other social media have claimed as many as 50 men were killed.

Both the Los Zetas and Gulf cartel local gangs are known to take the bodies of their dead and remove them from the field of battle to prevent their rivals and the government from gaining intelligence on their activities.

According to a report which also appeared on Borderland Beat, Sunday's gun battles were an internal struggle within the Gulf Cartel.

According to the news report about the vehicle and guns seizures, 30 vehicles were seized, ten of them custom armored civilian vehicles, along with 13 rifles, 5.092 rounds of ammunition, 235 weapons magazines, 13 grenades (presumably 40mm launchable), two grenade launchers, one rocket launcher, one rocket, 11.595 kilograms of marijuana, and personal quantities of powder and crack cocaine.

A total of nine unidentified suspects were also detained.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com

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