Eight more suspects have been arrested for alleged involvement in gun attacks earlier this month that killed 19 people in the northern Mexico border city of Reynosa, nearly all of whom appeared to be innocent bystanders, officials said Sunday.
The arrests brought to 13 the number of people detained over the June 19 attacks that left four gunmen and 15 civilians dead. One alleged gunman was detained after being wounded during the shootings, and four others were arrested at midweek.
The Tamaulipas state security agency said the eight latest arrests included a Gulf Cartel leader identified as Iván Alejandro “N” or Jorge Iván “N,” alias “La Vaca.”
Officials said the arrests came during a series of raids by state police in Rio Bravo, a municipality neighboring Reynosa that is controlled by the “Scorpions,” a faction of the Gulf Cartel. Eight vehicles, 16 weapons, more than 3,900 cartridges of various calibers, 80 magazines, eight flak jackets and two grenades also were seized, authorities said.
The arrests were announced a day after a march by citizens, civic groups and relatives of people disappeared by organized crime gangs to demand that authorities address the wave of violence in Reynosa, which is across from McAllen, Texas.
Gustavo Azuara Díaz, one of the main organizers of the march, announced Sunday that he was abandoning protest activities after receiving threatening calls and after unknown people stripped him naked and stole his belongings.
The Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office has said the June 19 attacks were carried out by members of the “Scorpions” and another Gulf Cartel faction known as the “Cyclones.” Prosecutors said the two groups sought to terrorize the population as part of their campaign to take control of Reynosa from another cartel faction, the “Metros.”