Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Police Chief, 5 Others Slain in Northeastern Mexico

Saturday, May 8, 2010 |

A municipal police chief and five other people died in three violent incidents in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, authorities said Friday.

The state’s public information office said the chief of police in the rural community of Barbosa and a person accompanying him were fatally shot Thursday night by unknown assailants.

Authorities did not reveal the identities of the victims nor the circumstances surrounding their deaths.

In the city of Reynosa, which borders McAllen, Texas, a man with gunshot wounds who had been left outside a hospital died while receiving medical treatment.

In Rio Bravo, another border town, a clash between military personnel and gunmen left three civilians dead, Mexico’s defense department said.

In the first six days of May, 23 people have been killed in Tamaulipas in clashes between the Gulf drug cartel and former allies Los Zetas, a band of Mexican special forces deserters turned hired guns.

Gov. Eugenio Hernandez met Friday in Ciudad Victoria, the state capital, with Jorge Tello Peon, public safety advisor to President Felipe Calderon, to discuss the recent uptick in violence in Tamaulipas.

“The idea is to inform (Peon) about the situation in the state, especially in the conflictive areas where a greater presence of federal forces is required, as is the case of the towns in the (northeastern part of Tamaulipas) and in San Fernando specifically,” Hernandez said in a statement.


In other drug-related violence, four men died in the southern state of Guerrero, the scene of clashes between rival drug gangs since the beginning of the year.

The four men were shot and killed Thursday in the town of La Union, with three of the bodies found at a ranch and the fourth less than a mile away, the state Public Safety Secretariat said.

The victims were repairing a fence when several armed assailants arrived and began firing gunshots and torching the ranch.

Authorities said they had not yet established a motive and were conducting an operation to locate the assailants.

A total of 327 organized-crime-related killings were reported in Guerrero between January and April of this year, according to government figures.

The popular seaside resort of Acapulco, Guerrero’s largest city, has also been affected by the violence.

The killing of powerful drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva in December in a shootout with marines touched off an internal battle for control of the cartel he led. That fighting has resulted in numerous deaths in the states of Guerrero and Morelos.

Nearly 23,000 people have been killed nationwide in drug-related violence since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon gave Mexico’s armed forces the leading role in battling the cartels.

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