More than a dozen bodies, charred and bullet-ridden, were found in two burnt vehicles near the U.S.-Mexico border, across the Rio Grande from Texas. Mexican authorities say they found at least 19 bodies in an area that has seen violent territorial disputes between organized crime groups in recent years.
Mexican cartels leave dead bodies in their wake
The Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office said late Saturday that the bodies were discovered along a dirt road outside Camargo after residents reported a burning vehicle. Authorities found two vehicles on fire, one containing four bodies and the other 15. Some rifles were also found.
All the victims had been shot, but shells were not found at the site, leading investigators to believe they were killed somewhere else.
A Camargo official, who requested anonymity due to security concerns, said the killings occurred Friday, but people had been afraid to report them.
Meanwhile, in Guatemala, rumors swirled Sunday that Guatemalan migrants were among the dead.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement that Guatemala’s embassy in Mexico and consulate in Monterrey were communicating with state and federal authorities “to determine if among the victims is any person of Guatemalan nationality.” It said they had activated consular aid protocols.
— Jessica Vaughan (@JessicaV_CIS) January 28, 2021
Crime in Mexico on the rise
Camargo is a major smuggling transit point for drugs and migrants. Organized crime groups covet control of stretches of the border because they make money off everything that crosses the border.
Camargo is near the edge of territory historically controlled by the Gulf cartel and in recent years a remnant of the Zetas known at the Northeast cartel has tried to take over.
In January 2020, 21 bodies, most burned, were found in various vehicles near the neighboring town of Ciudad Mier. Days later the Mexican army killed 11 alleged gunmen in the area.
In a recent list of top 50 murder capitals of the world, Mexico holds the top five slots. The number one murder capital of the world is currently Tijuana, a city that shares a border with San Diego, California. Mexico goes on to dominate the list of murder capitals, with a whopping 19 out of 50 cities. No bueno.