El Sauz, where 11 died in gunfire. El Sauz, where 11 died in gunfire.

Cartel clash kills 11 at Chihuahua horse race

Crime gang confrontation took place at an illegal racing event

A clash between criminal groups at an illegal horse racing event in Chihuahua claimed the lives of 11 people on Sunday, authorities said.

The confrontation took place around 7:00 p.m. at a clandestine horse racing track in El Sauz, a community in the municipality of Chihuahua, which includes the state capital. At least one of the victims was a woman.

“We have a report that 11 people unfortunately lost their lives,” state Security Minister Gilberto Loya said Monday.

He said that five people died at the scene and the others lost their lives on their way to hospital.

Loya said there had been a confrontation between armed groups at “clandestine horse races” that hadn’t been authorized by any authority.

He said authorities were still investigating to establish the identity of those involved in the confrontation and those who lost their lives. The names of five of the victims were published later on Monday.

Authorities seized four vehicles and one firearm at the scene of the confrontation – a clandestine racetrack known as El Mezquite. Horse races and other events have been held there since 2019. El Heraldo de Chihuahua reported that Sunday’s race meet was promoted as a family event with no alcohol. However, attendees were drinking and some consumed illegal drugs, the newspaper said.

Chihuahua was the seventh most violent state in the first three months of the year with 411 homicides, according to data presented by federal Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez last week.

There have been several incidents of violence this year with multiple fatalities, among which were the massacre of 20 people at a clandestine cockfight in Michoacán last month and the firing-squad style execution of 17 people in the same state a month earlier.

However, homicides declined 12.6% in the first three months of the year compared to the same period of 2021, falling to 7,354 from 8,417.

With reports from El Universal and El Heraldo de Chihuahua

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