THE BROWNSVILLE HERALD
A string of shootouts in and near the state of Tamaulipas left a trail of dead as Mexican federal authorities, the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas organization fought a three-way battle.
The Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, once allied, are fighting for control of the area.
One of the shootouts began about 4 a.m. Thursday in Los Aldama in Nuevo Leon state and ended in the nearby rural area of Arcabuz, Miguel Aleman, Tamps., leaving six gunmen dead, according to a Mexican law enforcement official whose name can’t be released for security reasons. The farming town of Arcabuz is about 45 miles south of Roma.
The shootout, which began as a clash between the Gulf and the Zetas, included more than 40 SUVs with gunmen. After the military arrived, the groups turned and transferred the fight to the downtown area of Arcabuz, resulting in the deaths of six gunmen, the official said.
Two other men were gunned down about 600 yards from the area, the official said, adding that all the men were carrying firearms and some were wearing body armor.
Official information from the Mexican military regarding the shootout wasn’t immediately available.
Additionally, the Mexican Army issued a news release regarding a Tuesday shootout in Ciudad Mier, Tamps., about 8 miles west of Roma, that left two gunmen dead.
The shootout occurred as a military convoy was conducting a routine patrol between Ciudad Mier and Nueva Ciudad Guerrero — which lies on the southern end of Falcon Lake — when a group of gunmen began firing at the convoy, according to the release.
The soldiers fought off the attack, killing two of the gunmen and seizing one armored SUV, two regular SUVs, 15 assault rifles, one handgun, 9,132 ammunition rounds, 187 ammunition magazines and military-style uniforms.
The two firefights are the most recent amid an upswing in violence between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas. Last week, the town of Miguel Aleman — across the Rio Grande from Roma — saw severe damage by the Zetas as they tried to regain the territory from the Gulf Cartel. The shootout left one civilian dead, one gunman dead and 11 gunmen in custody.
Photos: Grupo Reforma