Instead of celebration, the new year was rung in with widespread violence in two border towns in Tamaulipas as gunfights between members of the Northeast Cartel and security forces left at least 17 dead and many others wounded.
National Defense Secretariat (Sedena) troops were attacked by armed civilians in Miguel Alemán on Tuesday but at least six of the attackers were shot and killed by soldiers.
Soldiers also dismantled a criminal cell’s compound and seized guns, magazines and around 1,000 cartridges.
Nuevo Laredo saw at least five violent confrontations between criminal groups and security forces on New Year’s Eve. One of the attacks left three gunmen dead and a police officer wounded. Two gunmen were shot dead in another clash.
Armed men later attacked a hotel in which state police officers were staying, and another confrontation outside a hospital left two people dead and a civilian seriously wounded.
The violence continued into the new year, as clashes between cartel members and police forces created chaos in the city on Wednesday. At least four criminal suspects were killed and two officers were wounded in the confrontations.
Tamaulipas Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca responded on Wednesday evening to what he called the “cowardly attacks by the Northeast Cartel.”
“The [government of Tamaulipas] will not let its guard down and will keep acting with strength against the criminals,” he said in a tweet.
He went on to recognize “the good state police who have acted with strength and bravery facing the criminals in #NuevoLaredo.”