Macabre discovery. At least 19 charred bodies were found on Saturday, January 23, in northern Mexico, in an area bordering the United States, which is regularly the scene of clashes between drug cartels. Police discovered on a country road “two charred vehicles, as well as human remains”, near Camargo, said the state prosecutor’s office in Tamaulipas (North). Two corpses were in the front seats of one of the vehicles – a van – two more outside and 15 in the back.
According to the first elements of the investigation, the victims were killed by firearms, then their bodies were set on fire. No cartridge case was found on the spot, the prosecution does not rule out that the victims may have been killed in another place. Autopsies are in progress but the identification of the victims is complicated by the state of the bodies, explained a source of the prosecution who wished to remain anonymous.
Camargo borders Texas and is close to the Mexican state of Nuevo León. The prosecution said it had contacted the authorities of Nuevo León to conduct the investigation. The city is also neighboring Miguel Aleman where, in January 2019, 24 corpses, including 15 charred, had been found, after clashes between criminal groups.
The region is regularly the scene of clashes between the North West cartel, which controls part of Nuevo León, and that of the Gulf, which has been raging in Tamaulipas for decades. Mexico recorded 34,523 assassinations in 2020, down slightly from 2019 (34,608) which marked a record since the government began recording them in 1997, according to official figures.
Violence has grown steadily in the country since the end of 2006, when the fight against drug trafficking became the business of the army, with more than 300,000 assassinations since then. This violence is often linked to organized crime, in particular the drug cartels fighting over routes to the United States.