Turmoil in Mexico’s criminal underworld is intensifying the violence in a valuable border territory

6/29/2017 Business Insider

federal tamaulipas
Tamaulipas is one of Mexico’s most violent states, with 5,700 of 28,000 people who have been reported missing in the past decade © AFP/File Ronaldo Schemidt

The fracturing and fragmentation of Mexico’s major criminal groups has pushed deadly violence to new, grim peaks in recent months.

As weakened groups compete with newcomers for lucrative trafficking territories, or plazas, some areas of the country have become hotspots for violence — border cities, and their entryways to the US, in particular.

Tamaulipas in Mexico’s northeast corner is valuable territory because of its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the US border, highways that cross it, and the energy infrastructure in the area.

The state has been wracked by violence over the years as cartels competed for power and influence. It was long the redoubt of the Gulf cartel, and over the last decade it has become a major operating area for the Zetas cartel, which formed as the Gulf’s armed wing before breaking away in the late 2000s.

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