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Death toll from cartel turf war Mexican border city of Reynosa reaches 450

May 10, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Death toll from cartel turf war Mexican border city of Reynosa reaches 450

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Over 450 individuals in the Mexican border Reynosa, Mexico, were killed within the past year due to the bloody civil war between cells of the Gulf Cartel.

The victims include cartel gunmen, police, soldiers, along with innocent bystanders and kidnapping victims.

The violence started just after the death of Juan Manuel “Toro” Loza Salinas. The cartel leader died in April 2017. The drug lord’s death led to a fierce manhunt and several days of violence, cartel blockades, and the burning of cars by his henchmen. Just after his death, photos of Toro’s body began to surface on social media.

Many citizens in Reynosa did not buy the rumors about the death of the head of the Gulf Cartel, who had been responsible for spreading fear in the border city. A feeling of optimism appeared throughout the city of Reynosa that peace would eventually return to the area after Toro’s death.

However, that the capo’s death instead has escalted the violence.

Just after Toro’s death, the State of Tamaulipas verified the death of the capo and a leader of Los Zetas Cartel who worked in the center of the state. Soon after, the government published a press release with additional information regarding the death of two “priority objectives.”

Instead of bringing peace, the death of the Toro initiated a bloody internal war that began in May 2017 and remains to this day.

Wanted posters show the three top Gulf Cartel capos who have been responsible for much of the violence in Reynosa

Several leaders of the cartel alleged that they had a right to take over control of Reynosa because of their relationship to Toro, while others believed they were better fit as leaders. The optimism that had raised in Reynosa regarding peace finally arriving soon disappeared.

The war for control of Reynosa developed into two factions — one headed by Petronilo “Panilo” Moreno Flores. Luis Alberto “Pelochas” Blanco Flores directed the other faction with assistance from Toro’s nephew, Humberto “Betito” Loza Mendez.

As part of their battle for control of the area, both sides have engaged in fierce gun battles and have committed horrific executions where the victims were incinerated or left in mass graves.

Officials have documented over 450 murders directly linked to the bloody turf war. However, the real number of slain victims is likely much higher, according to Breitbart Texas.

The violence caused by both sides reached such high levels that the state offered a reward for information that would lead to the apprehension of Panilo, Betito or Pelochas. The death of Betito at the beginning of the year resulted in the exile of Pelochas from Reynosa.

Despite the tides shifting in his favor, Panilo could not take control of Reynosa, and the cartel eliminated him from command. Currently, three CDG commanders are fighting for control of Reynosa. They are known only as Miguelito, Flaco Sierra, and Gamma.

The three Gulf cartel leaders and their armed cells continue to increase violence throughout the city despite efforts by authorities to restore peace.

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