MEXICO — Mexican authorities say they have found 19 shot and burned bodies near a town across the Rio Grande from Texas in an area that has seen violent territorial disputes between organized crime groups in recent years.
The Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office said late Saturday that the bodies were discovered along a dirt road outside Camargo after residents reported a burning vehicle. Authorities found two vehicles on fire, one containing four bodies and the other 15, KTLA reported.
All had been shot, but casings were not found at the site. As a result, investigators believe they were killed elsewhere.
A Camargo official, who requested anonymity due to security concerns, said the murders occurred Friday, but people had been afraid to report them.
Camargo is a major smuggling transit point for drugs and migrants. Consequently, organized crime groups covet control of stretches of the border because they make money off everything that crosses in the region.
Camargo is near the edge of territory historically controlled by the Gulf cartel and in recent years a remnant of the Zetas known at the Northeast cartel has tried to take over, according to KTLA.
In January 2020, 21 bodies, most burned, were found in various vehicles near the neighboring town of Ciudad Mier. Days later the Mexican army killed 11 alleged gunmen in the area.