Monday, March 1, 2010

Valle Hermoso shaken by violence amid apparent cartel turf battle

This report affects me very personally because I have visited this town, stayed with families there, and worked in a local church over a number of years in this town close to the border. A friend of mine has parents and siblings living there who I know as well. More of what we know to be happening all over Mexico sadly....

VALLE HERMOSO, Tamps., Mexico — A night of intense fighting here between heavily armed men that left an undetermined number of dead and wounded gave way Thursday to a rush of activity by residents, according to witnesses.
Valle Hermoso, a community of some 60,000 people about 25 miles south of Los Indios Free Trade Bridge, was left shaken by the violence Wednesday night that residents attributed to two warring drug cartels.
Residents reported gun battles with automatic weapons and explosions.
Thursday brought reports of shot-up buildings and police cars, burned-out SUVs, and bodies lying in the streets. One person claimed several bodies were strung up from traffic sign poles.
People took advantage of the relative calm of the daylight hours on Thursday to stock up on essentials as another night of possible violence loomed, according to residents who would not give their names for fear of reprisal.
“It’s just like before a hurricane. People are out there buying as many groceries as they can,” one resident said. “It’s like the calm before the storm.”
Mexican military forces that were expected sometime early Thursday had not arrived by late afternoon.
Authorities — municipal leaders, police, firefighters and ambulance personnel — were nowhere to be found as they joined other residents in hunkering down.
Many people did not even make it home Wednesday night when the confrontation broke out, instead seeking refuge in stores, with friends and in neighbors’ homes. A cinema opened its doors to shelter people fleeing the violence.
Even Valle Hermoso’s police station was attacked Wednesday night, witnesses said. After the building was shot up with assault rifles, the city’s police force disappeared as fighting raged nearby.
The rest of the story HERE

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