- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Eliana Aponte)
Eight taxi drivers have been left dead and three others injured, one including an 8-year-old girl as violence continues to spread near the Mexican border. A second, later incident also resulted in the death of another 13 men.
Two assaults resulted in the death of eight taxi drivers in the suburbs of Guadalupe, Mexico, an estimated two hours from the Texas borderline. The same group is suspected in both incidents, one of which occurred outside the taxi base and the other only a few minutes later.
While no lead has been offered in the case, police investigators suspect that the taxi drivers may have had some kind of connection to the ongoing drug wars that have been waged in Mexico. Police are currently searching for one driver, who was recently fired after it was discovered that he had been selling drugs.
"Gangsters in Mexico have targeted some taxi drivers over extortion payments, while other taxi drivers have been alleged to work as spies for drug cartels," Reuters reported.
Of the three others who were injured during the incidents, two were reported to be innocent bystanders and one included an 8 year-old girl, according to Nuevo Leon state public security spokesman Jorge Domene Zambrano.
The crimes occurred during the time that many schools are in the midst of spring break. Texas officials released a warning earlier this year warning students to stay away from Mexico, including resort areas due to increased risk of danger. Although Mexican officials insisted vacation areas were still safe for travelers, increased crime has been reported across the country.
"Nuevo Leon state, which includes Monterrey, registered a total of 516 homicides in the first quarter of this year, a rise of 31 percent compared to the same period in 2011," Reuters quoted the governor's office as saying.
In addition to the taxi driver assault, a separate incident occurred later Tuesday, where gang involvement was confirmed. Another 13 men were killed in the western state of Michoacan. Posters signed by the New Generation drug gang were found connected with the incident.
Three men were arrested in the resort city of Acapulco in relation to the murders. The men were caught driving an SUV with seven bodies, five of them decapitated.