The Tamaulipas Attorney General's Office confirmed the number of 90 people killed in the city of Reynosa from April 21 to July 9, as a result of rivalries between two factions of the Gulf Cartel, which fight for the control of this border city. The situation has also triggered an unusual wave of other crimes such as car theft.
The count begins on April 21 because it is the date when the leader of the group, Juan Manuel Loaiza Salinas, aka Commander Toro, was killed in this city by elements of the Navy.
After eliminating the head of the criminal organization, the Güero Yessy presumably assumed the command. This succession generated disagreement among the criminals known as Panilo, Miguelito 56 and Diablo, and from May 3 a series of clashes between the cells of the criminal group took place with more intensity, leaving to this day death and fear among the population surrounded by shootings which occur almost every day, at any time.
It is already common for citizens to review social networks before leaving their homes or going to work, in order to know in which parts of the city there are shootings or roads blocked to avoid those risky sectors. From April 21 to date, six civilians have been killed in the midst of shootings by criminal groups, according to prosecutors.
However, security officials have also suffered from the escalating violence. Proof of this is that since April 21, three policemen have died in the line of duty.
An unexpected surge
According to figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National System of Public Security (SESNSP) in 2017, May registered an unexpected jump in the numbers of intentional homicides and car thefts with violence.
At the state level, homicides in Tamaulipas have registered so far this year a total of 252 cases: 45 in January, 49 in February, 41 in March and 45 in April; in May the figure rose to 72 murders.
With regard to vehicle theft with violence, 681 cases have been reported in the state: 108 in January, 89 in February, 100 in March and 146 in April; during May the cases reached up to 238.
At the municipal level, Reynosa reported no more than 14 cases of intentional homicide and only in May the cases registered were 21. Regarding car theft, 22 were reported in January, 28 in February, 32 in March 88 in April, and in May the number soared to 161. According to the president of the Federation of National Chambers of Commerce (Fecanaco) of Tamaulipas, Julio Almanza Armas, this wave of violence has left economic losses to the commercial sector in Reynosa of MXN$170 million and in July the losses have amounted to MXN$400 million.
"We officially have a total of 86 dead persons, but unofficially we speak of more than 200 but not all the bodies appear," said the leader of the Fecanaco.
A source of the Attorney General of Justice of Tamaulipas recognizes that affectations to the businesses have been severe in Reynosa.
"This internal fight is causing great damage to the population since most businesses close earlier than usual to avoid being caught between crossfire," the source said.
He adds that, for example, gas stations close at 9 pm and convenience stores that are usually 24 hours stop attending at 11 at night.