Norteastern Mexican Region – Five police officers and two former cops were killed in separate incidents in the northern Mexican states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, authorities said Friday.
The worst of the violence took place in the town of Altamira, Tamaulipas, where a municipal policewoman and three male colleagues were found dead early Friday, state officials said.
Two of the victims were left hanging from a bridge, while the other two bodies were dumped in the main square near the Altamira town hall, a member of the municipal police force told Efe.
In Monterrey, capital of neighboring Nuevo Leon, one police officer and two former cops were killed by assailants armed with AR-15 assault rifles, sources in the city government said.
The three men were shot around 10:30 p.m. Thursday as they sat in a car drinking beer.
One of the two former officers was recently fired from the Monterrey police “for loss of trust,” a member of the municipal force told Efe.
A score of law enforcement personnel have been killed in Nuevo Leon over the last four weeks, as both that state and neighboring Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon have experienced a surge of violence amid an intense turf battle among drug cartels.
In February, Monterrey residents were treated to the sight of giant banners announcing an alliance of the Gulf, Sinaloa and La Familia drug cartels against the Los Zetas gang.
After several years as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas – a band of Mexican special forces deserters turned hired guns – went into business for themselves and now control several lucrative territories.
A classified government report provided to the Mexican Senate estimated 22,743 people have died nationwide since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels in December 2006.
The total includes 2,904 deaths so far this year.
Calderon has deployed 50,000 soldiers and 20,000 federal police to a dozen Mexican states to combat the cartels and other criminal organizations.