Ten execution style murders were reported Wednesday afternoon in the tri-city area of northern Mexico's highland basin, the Comarca Lagunera. The three adjoining cities of Ciudad Lerdo and Gomez Palacio in Durango and Torreon in Coahuila are another front line in Mexico's drug war.
The Sinaloa cartel and Los Zetas are stalemated in the fight for this important transhipment point for drugs heading north to the U.S. border. Torreon, a relatively affluent city, is also a thriving retail drug market.
The organized crime division of power is divided roughly along the state line, with street gangs affiliated with the Sinaloa cartel controlling activities on the Durango side and Los Zetas controlling the Coahuila side.
The incidents Wednesday were highlighted with the discovery at approximately 4:00pm of seven bodies killed by gunfire in a VW Jetta in an industrial park in Gomez Palacio, not far from the Rio Nazas dividing line between that city and Torreon.
The bodies of four men were found in the interior of the vehicle and the bodies of three women were found inside the Jetta's trunk.
One woman found in the interior of the vehicle was found alive and in critical condition. The survivor was said to be a Gomez Palacio police woman.
At 5:30pm, in the adjoining city of Ciudad Lerdo, a municipal police vehicle was attacked by gunmen. Another police woman was killed in this attack and her partner was critically injured.
South of Torreon two "encobijados" (murder victims wrapped in blankets) were found Wednesday morning. Both male bodies exhibited signs of torture and multiple gunshot wounds.
The killings in the Comarca occurred 24 hours before the first leg of Mexico's premier soccer league playoff championship series between the Torreon team of Santos Laguna and Los Tigres of Monterrey. The match kicked off promptly tonight at 8:30pm at Torreon's Territorio Santos Modelo stadium.
Security by the Army, federal and state police was exceptionally heavy and no pre-game incidents were reported.
The TSM stadium was the scene of a panic and stampede by fans this past August when a shootout between gunmen and police occurred outside the stadium during a match between Santos and Monarcas.