By Chris Covert
A Policia Federal (PF) road patrol element encountered several unidentified armed suspects near a farm in Torreon, Coahuila, killing five, according to Mexican news reports.
According to a news item posted on the website of Vanguardia news daily, the shootout took place just after noon Saturday near the Matamoros-Torreon road near the Puerta de Torreon, where a PF patrol designated Grupo Geo observed five armed suspects in Sol de Oriente colony. When shots were exchanged, the criminal group fled into a farm house on calle Toyama.
The armed suspects continued fire on PF agents from inside the house, when agents decided to use pepper gas against the suspects. One suspect attempted to leave the farmhouse but was dropped by police gunfire. At the conclusion, PF agents found four armed suspects dead inside the house.
PF agents found two AK-47 and one AR-15 assault rifles, and one 9mm pistol.
In Torreon, in southern Coahuila state and Piedras Negras in northern Coahuila has experienced what can only be termed a severe uptick in drug and gang related violence especially since the prison break 12 days ago in the border city of Piedras Negras. According to Spanish and English language reports, Piedras Negras has experienced shootings nearly every day since the prison break.
According to Mexican press accounts many of those released from prison were members of Los Zetas criminal group.
According to a report published in last Wednesday's Eagle Pass, Texas Business Journal, the municipality of Piedras Negras has been under martial law.
However, under the Mexican Constitution, martial law can only be imposed by the Mexican president of the republic and only with consent of the Chamber of Deputies and the president's cabinet.
No other Mexican media outlet or even social media have confirmed that the municipality was under martial law, or that a declaration of martial has been announced.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com