MEXICO CITY – Seven bodies were found inside an SUV abandoned in Tampico, a port city in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, officials said Monday.
The victims – four men and three women – have not been identified, the Tamaulipas Coordination Group, or GCT, said in a statement.
The killings are related to conflicts involving “the presumed criminal groups operating in the zone,” said the GCT, a joint federal and state agency.
The bodies were discovered Sunday night inside a green SUV with Tamaulipas tags that was abandoned on a closed street in Tampico.
The federal government said last week it was deploying more security forces units in Tamaulipas and planned to purge the state’s law enforcement agencies in an effort to stop a spike in drug-related violence.
Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong announced the expanded deployment last Tuesday in the border city of Reynosa, unveiling a “new phase” of the federal security strategy for Tamaulipas aimed at restoring to residents “the peace and safety they deserve.”
Patrols will be stepped up at ports, airports, customs posts, border crossings and highways, with inspections of prisons and nightspots where criminal activities occur being expanded, Osorio Chong said.
The Gulf and Los Zetas drug cartels have been fighting for control of Tamaulipas and smuggling routes into the United States for years.