Mexico’s “Drug War” has generated its first displaced persons camp, consisting of 400 people taking shelter at a charity facility located in the border city of Ciudad Miguel Alemán in the state of Tamaulipas, reports the news magazine The Economist.
Over the past several months, Mexicans have been taking refuge there, fleeing from the violence created by the region’s two competing drug trafficking organizations, the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel.
Since the two organizations declared war in January, they have been battling over control of Mier, a nearby border town. In just the past six months, residents of Meir have reported that the gangs have burned the town’s police station, several businesses and dozens of vehicles, hung a mutilated corpse in a public park, and had numerous shootouts in the streets.
As a result of the violence the town’s government abandoned its offices, moving its headquarters 15km away to Ciudad Miguel Alemán, where it also established the refuge. As the number of refugees living at the shelter grows by 30 people a day, there is no end to the violence in sight. Last week, authorities in Tamaulipas warned of increased violence in the state as a result of the death of Gulf Cartel leader Antonio Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén, alias Tony Tormenta.