Violence surges in Tamaulipas: State Department

Murders in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas jumped more than 90% and kidnapping reports more than doubled over last year to the highest rate in the country, according to a new travel warning issued July 26 by the US State Department. The State Department maintained its stance that US citizens should defer all non-essential travel to Tamaulipas, as carjackings, armed robberies, gun battles and grenade attacks continue to pervade the region, including in the border towns of Matamoros and Reynosa. “These crimes occur in all parts of the city at all times of the day,” the bulletin stated.

The number of US citizens slain in Mexico dropped 37% last year—to 71 reported murders. But US State Department employees in Tamaulipas continue to have a midnight to 6 AM curfew—as has been the case for more than a year. The advisory cites ongoing warfare between Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas, but emphasizes that violence remains endemic nearly throughout the country. “The number of kidnappings and disappearances throughout Mexico is of particular concern,” the warning says.  (The Monitor, South Texas, July 13)

Authorities in Chihuahua state report that police discovered the bodies of six men in a remote mountain village where several homes and cars were set ablaze. A July 23 statement from state prosecutors says two of the victims found in the village of Mesa de la Reforma had been decapitated and all six were shot. Four of the victims were wearing law enforcement uniforms and bulletproof vests, but are not believed to have been police officers or soldiers. Investigators also found more than 380 spent cartridges from automatic rifles. The village is in Guadalupe y Calvo municipality, in the heart of northern Mexico’s “Golden Triangle,” center of the country’s marijuana and opium production. (AP, July 23)

See our last post on Mexico’s human rights crisis.

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