At least 18 deaths have been recorded in a bloody night of clashes between rival groups of gunmen Padilla, Tamaulipas, a municipality of 14,000 inhabitants located north of the state capitol of Ciudad Victoria.
Padilla is located several miles from Don Alejo Garza Tamez’s San Jose ranch, where the ranch owner and avid hunter died in a firefight with alleged Zetas who attempted to seize the property in November, 2010.
In a night of panic and terror that began just before midnight Sunday seven bodies were abandoned outside the palacio municipal (municipal government’s offices) on the main plaza of the town. Ten other bodies were found at other locations within the municipality.
In addition to the palacio municipal, the buildings housing the town’s judicial court and police station were heavily damaged by gunfire.
A communiqué from the Tamaulipas state government confirmed that
one family, both parents and three children, were reported killed on the main highway at the outskirts of the town.
Also confirmed was the death of an innocent civilian on the same highway when armed gunmen shot at a passenger bus and seized it in order to block the road and deny access to the authorities. Three passengers were reported injured by the gunfire and one of them, a woman, died after being transported to a hospital in Ciudad Victoria.
The deaths of five other residents of Padilla was also confirmed in the government’s statement.
It was reported that the seven bodies abandoned in main plaza had been executed elsewhere.
The town of Padilla was sealed off Monday morning by state and federal police and units of the Mexican army.
In Ciudad Victoria the Grupo de Seguridad Tamaulipas, composed of state and federal authorities and tasked with coordinating security in the state, met Monday to review security measures and attend to the incident in Padilla
A survey of websites of all the main daily newspapers in Tamaulipas showed only one daily, El Occidental de Tampico, covering the bloodbath in Padilla. No other newspaper website covered any substantial story on organized crime in the state.
One story on hoylaredo.net, a Nuevo Laredo internet news service, ran a story about two municipal police officers assaulted Sunday night by Mexican Army soldiers. One officer was beaten with a baseball bat while the other, a female, was punched in the face. (Tamaulipas municipal police officers are routinely accused of working for or being co-opted by drug cartels)
Obviously, the Grupo de Seguridad Tamaulipas needs not a review but a complete overhaul of security measures.
In other news from Tamaulipas, unofficial reports from citizen’s internet forums in the border city of Matamoros Monday evening spoke of a grenade attack at around 7:00 PM outside of a 7-11 convenience store on Abasolo st.
Estimates of the injured numbered between 8 and 10 including one young child. No deaths were reported.
Al menos 18 muertos en Padilla…….
Masacre en Padilla…….
Tamaulipas confimra asesinato de 18 personas
Golpean a policies municipales