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Drug cartels use armored vehicles in turf war in Mexican border state of Tamaulipas

August 25, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Drug cartels use armored vehicles in turf war in Mexican border state of Tamaulipas

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REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — Over the course of hours, cartel gunmen employed armored vehicles, explosives, and machine-guns in a new battle for control of lucrative drug trafficking territories at the Texas border.

Earlier this week, a team of Los Zetas operatives part of the faction called Cartel Del Noreste (CDN) and the Gulf Cartel battled in Los Guerras in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which is located directly south of the border from Starr County, Texas.

Los Guerras is near Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, one of the primary crossing points utilized by the Gulf Cartel to smuggle people and drugs into Roma, Texas.

Armored vehicles used in cartel battle near the Texas border

The area south of Starr County, Texas, is also referred to as “La Ribereña” as a reference to the Rio Grande.

While authorities have not released any official details, local reports citing law enforcement sources, reported that the most violent battles occurred in early Tuesday morning along rural dirt roads, where groups of gunmen from both groups fought.

The amount of casualties is not clear. However, locals reported hearing gunfire for almost four hours in one of the battles.

During the conflict, cartel gunmen employed “mounstros” or “monsters,” a group referring to the makeshift armored cars gunmen use in battle.

The fierce gunbattle occurred in Los Guerras, Tamaulipas

Mexican investigators located some of the vehicles along rural dirt roads. Some contained bloodstains on them, while others were totally burned.

The area near Los Guerra is a border of sorts with the CDN to the west and the Gulf Cartel to the east.

The emerging violence occurs at a time when the Gulf Cartel spent more than a year in a violent internal conflict where cells from the border city of Reynosa struggled with the splinter from Matamoros over territorial control.

Similarly, the CDN has been at war with another faction of the Los Zetas cartel called “Vieja Escuela” or “Old School Zetas.”

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