Local police chief in Mexico murdered hours after taking office

With ongoing battles between powerful drug cartels showing no signs of abating, suspected hitmen murdered the newly-installed police chief just outside the affluent Mexican city of Monterrey on Sept. 30, as Breitbart reports.

The killing occurred within the borders of Cadereyta municipality, west of Monterrey, in the Mexican border state of Nuevo Leon when a cadre of gunmen ambushed Police Chief Roberto Julian Saenz Garza outside of his residence.

According to reports, Garza had just assumed leadership of public safety in the city prior to the assassination, and though family members took him back inside the house after the attack, paramedics who transported him to a local hospital were apparently fighting a losing battle, as he ultimately perished from his injuries.

Breitbart further noted that the area in which the killing occurred is a well-traveled corridor for drug traffickers through which the Gulf Cartel transports narcotics as well as migrants from the city of Monterrey to Reynosa, a border town.

In a frightening bit of foreshadowing of the tragedy, prior to the police chief’s murder, one faction of the cartel boldly displayed banners throughout the state declaring their intention to increase hostilities against rivals from a competing cartel.

The region in which the killing took place is notorious for its drug-related violence, and earlier this year, the governor of Neuvo Leon took the unusual step of issuing a travel alert warning residents to avoid trips to the neighboring area of Tamaulipas, as Mexico News Daily noted this summer.

As the outlet explained, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas are relatively close geographically, but travels between the sites had grown particularly precarious, with upwards of 49 individuals having gone missing along the route as of late June, according to authorities, with some claiming that the toll was even higher.

Illustrative of the danger was an attack that same month in which a band of armed men moved through the city of Reynosa, taking aim randomly at those they encountered, ultimately resulting in the deaths of 19.

According to officials in the area, the violence is attributable to the fact that the Monterrey-Neuvo Laredo highway is under the control of the Northeast Cartel, a faction of the Zetas group, while the Monterrey-Reynosa route is controlled by the Metros, an offshoot of the Gulf Cartel, realities that make the area a virtual powder keg, particularly for law enforcement officials attempting to bring order to the chaos.