Nine Dead in Sinaloa Christmas Eve Massacre

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Nine people were killed in Concordia, in Sinaloa state, part of a continuing war between two drug cartels for control of this strategic piece of drug trafficking real estate.

30 heavily armed and uniformed men moved into the community on Christmas Eve, list in hand, dragging people from their homes in the town of Platanar de los Ontiveros, Concordia. Four of the victims were taken to the town’s sports field and either shot to death, or killed with machetes. The other five were dumped by the river. Authorities said that several of the victims had known ties to drug trafficking organizations.

Sinaloa state prosecutor, Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez, said that the violence was due to an ongoing turf battle between the Sinaloa cartel of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and remnants of the Beltran-Leyva organization, allied to the Zetas.

InSight Crime Analysis

This massacre is just the latest chapter in the blood feud between the Beltran Leyva organization and their previous allies of the Sinaloa cartel, which began in 2008. Last month another Sinaloa village was burned to the ground as part of the war between the two groups.

While the Beltran Leyva organization is but a shadow of its former self, with many of its top leaders killed or captured, it has been saved from extinction by its alliance with the Sinaloa cartel’s sworn enemies, the Zetas.

The state of Sinaloa is home territory for the Beltran Leyvas. The area where the killings took place is known as the “zone of fear” an area long touched by violence associated to the drug trade. Their presence here allows the Zetas to strike into the heartland of Chapo Guzman’s empire. The Christmas Eve massacre is a sign of what is to come in 2013, with the war between the Sinaloa cartel and the Zetas continuing unchecked.

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