Clashes between security forces and suspected criminals in Reynosa and Rio Bravo have left at least eight people dead. The clashes took place in different parts of the cities and went on for more than a day.
The clashes began on Sunday night and continued throughout the early hours of Monday. Authorities say five areas were blocked off by the suspected criminals in Reynosa. Two clashes between security forces and suspected criminals took place there.
In Rio Bravo, security forces killed four suspected criminals who attacked them at a gas station. The city on the northern border of the state of Tamaulipas saw the most violence throughout Sunday and Monday as authorities found three people dead across various parts of the city. Authorities also confirmed that another person was killed after being shot from a moving vehicle.
In recent years, violence in places such as Reynosa has increased. Last month, officials announced a $7.6 million plan to stop the violence in the area. In June, reports said that at least 50 people had died in violent confrontations during the month of May. Residents and journalists say the violence there is worse than ever seen before.
In Reynosa, the military and police carried out operations to remove the blockades that criminal groups left in five parts of the city. Authorities also responded to an attack by criminals, who fled the area.
The clashes and blockades happened throughout late Sunday and Monday. During the operations, security forces arrested two suspected criminals and confiscated more than 30 weapons, including grenade launchers and machine guns. They also confiscated more than 20 vehicles, with over half being armored vehicles.
A video from EFE show police guarding the gas station after the attack from criminals. The soldiers who were at the gas station were able to fight back, killing four criminals.
The violent confrontations are the latest to happen in Tamaulipas, a state where criminal groups have been fighting for control in recent years. The month of May was one of the deadliest in the city, with reports showing a huge increase in homicides. On May 20, authorities announced that they would deploy 70 soldiers to put a stop to the violence. The violence continued the following month with other crimes such as car thefts also going up. Local media says the violence has increased because criminal groups are fighting over certain areas of the city.