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10 gang suspects killed in northern Mexico
by Staff Writers
Mexico City (AFP) March 14, 2016

Five Mexican marines detained over man's disappearance
Mexico City (AFP) March 14, 2016 - Five Mexican marines have been detained in connection with the 2013 disappearance of a man in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, the navy said on Sunday.

The troops were jailed in a military prison after a court charged them on March 8 and 9 with "forced disappearance" -- a crime meaning that an official illegally detained or abducted someone.

The statement said the marines were detained over a case dating from August 3, 2013, in Nuevo Leon.

It did not name the victim but Amnesty International said earlier this week that the marines were suspects in the disappearance of Armando del Bosque Villarreal, a 33-year-old man who was found two months after he was detained by troops.

The marines allegedly arrested the man as he drove in the town of Colombia and took him to a temporary navy facility, according to Amnesty.

When the man's father went looking for him, a captain initially told him that his son was being interrogated. But one hour later, the captain denied that del Bosque was there, Amnesty said.

Del Bosque's body was found in October 2013 with bullet wounds some two kilometers (one mile) from the navy facility.

It is the latest allegation of brutality carried out by Mexican government forces. Human rights groups say police and troops have committed a slew of abuses since the military was deployed to combat drug cartels in 2006.

On Thursday, the defense ministry said a soldier was detained in connection with the disappearance and murder of a civilian in the eastern state of Veracruz in February.

Troops are also suspected of the extrajudicial killing of at least eight of 22 gang suspects killed in a warehouse in central Mexico in June 2014.

Authorities killed at least 10 criminal suspects in northern Mexico on Sunday as their gang blocked roads with burning vehicles in a bid to thwart the anti-drug cartel operation.

Soldiers, federal police and marines took part in the pre-dawn operation in Reynosa, a city bordering the United States that has been the scene of turf wars over control of drug trafficking routes for years.

Marines clashed with criminals who were moving in a sport-utility vehicle on an avenue, leaving four suspects dead, the Tamaulipas state security task force said in a statement.

The first clash prompted criminals to hijack cars, trucks and public transport buses, which they set on fire to block various roads -- a common tactic used by gangs in Tamaulipas to prevent arrests.

Other gunfights erupted in the city, leaving six suspects dead in two other parts of Reynosa, the statement said.

A military vehicle overturned during one pursuit, leaving four soldiers with light injuries, according to the statement from the task force, which includes federal and state security forces.

The street blockades were removed four hours after they were installed by the gang.

The Gulf and Zetas drug cartels are former allies that have fought for control of the drug trade in the region, which is one of the most dangerous in Mexico.

But authorities have blamed most of the violence since 2014 on internal power struggles within the Gulf cartel.

The federal government stepped up military control over security in Tamaulipas in May 2014 after a surge in cartel violence.

The gangs have continued to wreak havoc.

Gunmen shot at a military Black Hawk helicopter in July last year in a clash that left six suspects dead in a rural area some 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of the border.

Troops discovered that same month an underground weapons cache in Reynosa that included 33 assault rifles and three grenade launchers.

Also in Reynosa, authorities discovered dozens of surveillance cameras that had been installed by a gang across the city to monitor the movements of security forces.

In Matamoros, another border city, a federal police building was hit by an explosive device in May 2015 while another one blew up in front of the national electoral institute, without causing injuries or major damage.

More than 100,000 people have been killed or gone missing since Mexico's drug war began to intensify in 2006.

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Previous Report
Two Mexican marines, suspect killed in shootout
Mexico City (AFP) Dec 30, 2015
Two marines and a criminal suspect were killed in a shootout in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, the homeland of fugitive drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, authorities said. The troops were on patrol in the village of El Ebano on Monday night when they were "attacked by gunfire from suspected members of organized crime," the navy said in a statement released Tuesday. After t ... read more

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