Filed Under:  Los Zetas, Monterrey

Gunmen Kill 4 in Separate Attacks in Mexican Industrial City

February 11th 2012   ·   0 Comments

MONTERREY, Mexico – Four people, including three taxi drivers and a teenager, died in three simultaneous attacks staged by gunmen in Monterrey, the capital of the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, the state police said.

The shootings happened around 4:00 p.m. Wednesday in San Bernabe, a neighborhood in the northern part of Monterrey, the Nuevo Leon State Investigations Agency, or AEI, said.

Gunmen opened fire with AK-47 assault rifles from a car on drivers parked at a taxi stand near a Metro station, killing two of them and seriously wounding a third, the AEI said.

A taxi driver was cut off by gunmen on a nearby street, forced out of his vehicle and shot in the head.

The gunmen spray-painted “CDG,” the Spanish acronym for the Gulf cartel, on the taxi.

A minor, meanwhile, was beheaded in another part of San Bernabe and his body was dumped on a soccer field along with a piece of cardboard that bore the letters “CDG.”

The killings may be a response by the Los Zetas drug cartel to the attacks Tuesday night on two bars in the southern section of the city.

Two gunmen entered the La Paloma bar around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and opened fire with assault rifles on patrons and employees.

The bar’s owner was killed and three other people, including a woman, were wounded, the AEI said.

The Rooster bar, located less than a kilometer (0.62 miles) away, was attacked at the same time.

Gunmen opened fire from a vehicle on the Rooster bar’s front door, destroying it, the AEI said, adding that there were no reports of injuries.

About half a dozen bars and cantinas have been attacked in the past year in Monterrey.

Monterrey and its suburbs have been battered by a wave of drug-related violence that has left about 2,500 people dead since March 2010.

Los Zetas has been battling an alliance of the Gulf, Sinaloa and La Familia drug cartels, known as the Nueva Federacion, for control of the Monterrey metropolitan area and smuggling routes into the United States.

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, known as “El Lazca,” deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel.

After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.

Mexico’s drug war death toll stood at 47,515 from December 2006 to Sept. 30.

The murder total has grown every year of President Felipe Calderon’s military offensive against the well-funded, heavily armed drug cartels.

Unofficial tallies published in December by independent daily La Jornada put the death toll from Mexico’s drug war at more than 50,000. EFE

A version of this column originally appeared in www.laht.com.

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