Drug-related violence in Mexico has escalated to levels never recorded before. The border city of Reynosa has become the central battleground in the drug cartels' war for the routes leading to the United States. During the past month, 36 people were killed during an escalation of drug-related violence.

Background information

The Mexican city of Reynosa is located on the border near the United States, south of Texas, in the state of Tamaulipas. The Mexican city is a major crossing point for drug traffickers into the United States. Reynosa is a battlefield for dominance between the Gulf Cartel, which is one of the oldest and most powerful Gangs In Mexico, and Los Zetas, who are considered to be the most technologically advanced and sophisticated criminal syndicate in Mexico.

The two drug gangs are fighting a war for the control of the drug trafficking routes leading into the United States.

The escalation of violence

Violence escalated about one month ago after Mexican marines hunted down and killed Juan Manuel Lossa, known by the nickname "El Toro," during the “Battle of Reynosa.”

According to Mexican authorities, “El Toro”was the head of the Gulf Cartel in the city. Even though his death was a great success for Mexican authorities in their war against drug trafficking, it also created a power vacuum that various drug gangs are trying to take advantage of.

The prolonged fighting in Reynosa has become extremely violent as many armed drug gang members are driving around the city looking for members of rival drug gangs to kill.

Last weekend, armed members of rival drug gangs clashed on at least three separate occasions. Locals have reported that during one of these confrontations in the Lopez Portillo neighborhood, four armed gang members were killed. Since ”El Toro” was killed, it has been estimated that 36 people were killed during similar incidents.

All of the violence escalation has spread fear among the locals.

Drug-related violence is out of control in Mexico

More than 100,000 people have been killed or are missing due to criminal activities directly attributed to organized crime drug trafficking gangs in Mexico over the past eight years.

In fact, according to a study conducted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mexico was the second most violent country in the world for 2016 ranking above war devastated countries like Afghanistan and Yemen. The most violent country in the world, according to the same study, was Syria where the so-called “Islamic State” terrorist group operates.