12 Killed in Conflict Between Mexican Gangs

Thu Feb 22 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

MEXICO CITY, Mexico: Organized crime-related violence has increased in the mountain community of Las Tunas in southern Mexico’s Guerrero state, with at least 12 people killed in suspected gang warfare, the president said Wednesday.

The charred bodies of five people were found Tuesday in the mountainous region of Las Tunas, the state prosecutor said.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told the media, “It is presumed, without having all the information, that it was a confrontation between criminal gangs. So far 12 deaths have been confirmed.”

He did not say whether the death toll included the five deaths reported so far.

The President said that security forces are conducting operations in hard-to-reach areas and details will be announced later in the day.

Local media reported that the clashes were between a criminal organization called La Familia Michoacana and Los Tracos, who were competing for control of the area.

Analyst David Saucedo said the increase in violence was due to efforts by La Familia Michoacana, which controls the neighboring state of Michoacana, to invade Guerrero state, one of the poorest and most violent states in Mexico.

“It is looking to expand its territorial base,” he told media — sparking resistance from local crime groups.

According to official statistics, the conflict between these two gangs has resulted in the deaths of 1,890 people in 2023.

Gangs fight for control of vast criminal enterprises including drug trafficking, extortion, drug labs and kidnappings.

The situation has prompted Catholic priests and bishops in the region to call on the groups to end the violence, an effort supported by López Obrador.

Las Tunas is part of the city of San Miguel Tutlapan, where 20 people, including its mayor, were killed in an attack by a criminal group on the municipal building in October 2020.

Mexico has seen more than 420,000 murders and tens of thousands of disappearances since late 2006, when then-President Felipe Calderon launched a controversial military crackdown on drugs.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp