Tamaulipas state police and Mexican Policia Federal have been reportedly involved a a number of armed confrontations with criminal groups in south-central Tamaulipas state, according to official government reports.
According to a news release posted on the Tamaulipas state website, the fighting has been going on at a location between Jimenez and Padilla municipalities. The report said that Mexican security forces were fired on by armed suspects, and apparently security forces returned fire.
No one from either side were reported hurt in the encounters.
Possibly unrelated is the report from the same website that two unidentified assistants of the municipal president of Abasolo were injured in an auto accident a few hours later about 20 kilometers away,
According to the news release the vehicle's tires had been punctured or were blown out, causing the crash. Both victims were said to be at a hospital in Ciudad Victoria, the state capital of Tamaulipas.
The latest two incidents comes on the heels of the announcement of a new self defense group in southern Tamaulipas, colloquially known as autodefensas.
According to a news report which appeared in the leftist Proceso news weekly, said that the new group had distributed a leaflet detailing their existence earlier in the week.
The group, dubbed the Brigada Alberto Carreta Torres, was formed to counter the criminal activities of Los Zetas drug cartel in the area.
According to a separate report which appeared in El Universal news daily last February 11th, several autodefensas have formed in Tamaulipas, and were operating in Hidalgo, Tula and Ocampo municipalities. The Proceso article, dated two days ago, said that the newest group was operating in Ciudad Victoria. The article also hinted that the new group were operating checkpoints in the city.
The Brigada Alberto Carreta Torres group has claimed a number of executions of Los Zetas criminal operatives. The autodefensas of Michocan, unlike the Brigada Alberto Carreta Torres, had not, to this writer's understanding, targeted one criminal group over another as they began their own security operations
The Brigada Alberto Carreta Torres sounds like the Matazetas group from Veracruz and Jalisco states three years ago, which were groups funded and operated by local drug gangs to gain public sympathy for their goals, even as they rounded up and brutally murdered innocents at the time. The Matazetas were later found to be funded by the Sinaloa drug cartel.
The absence of a reference to the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels in the announcement of the existence of the group, both of which are in alliance would seem to indicate they were in fact funded and operated by one and/or the other group.
The Proceso article also said that another group, autodefensa Columna Pedro J Mendez, was operating in Hidalgo municipality and had claimed the lives of a number of Los Zetas.
|Dip. Elizondo Salazar|
In the El Universal article a Tamaulipas state deputy, Francisco Elizondo Salazar lamented that since elements of the Policia Federal had been redeployed to Michoacan, "insecurity permeated the streets" of the state.
Two days later, at least some Policia Federal units returned to the state to begin new operations.
Deputy Francisco Salazar also repeated a warning that travel in Tamaulipas at night should be discouraged.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com and Borderlandbeat.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org