March 10, 2014
McALLEN — Mexican marines killed six gunmen in San Fernando, Tamps., and rescued three kidnapping victims Sunday afternoon, according to the Tamaulipas government.
San Fernando is approximately 80 miles south of Reynosa and Matamoros along the only high way that connects the border cities with the state’s capital, Ciudad Victoria. Historically, San Fernando has been under the control of the Zetas drug cartel, which is at war with its former employer, the Gulf Cartel.
In summer 2010, San Fernando gained notoriety when Mexican marines there discovered the bodies of 72 immigrants who had been executed by the Zetas. Just a few months later in early 2011, Mexican authorities discovered a series of mass graves where the Zetas had buried 193 bodies.
Sunday afternoon, Mexican marines were conducting routine patrols in the city’s outskirts when the six gunmen, who were traveling in two SUVs, began firing at them, according to a news release from the Tamaulipas government.
During the firefight, the troops killed the six gunmen, according to the release. Then, while searching their vehicles, the troops rescued three male kidnapping victims. Inside the vehicles they found eight assault rifles and several loaded ammunition magazines.
The gunmen have not yet been identified, but they were described as three men and three women.