Mexican crime gangs target families, breaking underworld’s honor code

(PHOTO: file) Investigators at murder scene.

A series of murders targeting families, including children, has rocked Mexico in recent weeks, signaling that drug gangs are willing to break an unspoken code of honor within the criminal underworld.

In total, 34 people have been killed, including several women and 10 children, since early July in three regions, reports Agence France Presse.

Last month, 19 people, including eight children, from three different families were gunned down in less than a week in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

(PHOTO: file) Investigators at murder scene.
(PHOTO: file) Investigators at murder scene.

Authorities suspect that those massacres were linked to disputes between rival gangs in Tamaulipas, a region that has been besieged by drug cartel violence for years.

On July 18, seven shark fishermen from the same family were killed in the southern Pacific coast state of Oaxaca.

Authorities suspect it may be linked to illegal activities at sea. The Pacific is a key route for drug trafficking.

The most recent massacre came on Saturday, when seven people from the same family, including two children, were shot dead in a small town in southern Guerrero state.

While the motive is unknown, gangs are fighting for control of opium poppy production in the region.

– ‘Code is finished’ –

The modus operandi indicates that all these killings were linked to turf wars between criminal organizations that are the remnants of cartels that have splintered, said Raul Benitez Manaut, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Such gangs “no longer respect families, wives and children,” Benitez Manaut told AFP.

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