April 22, 2015 / 10:54 PM / 5 years ago

Drug cartel violence flares again in Northern Mexico state

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Drug cartel violence in Mexico’s Tamaulipas state flared up for the second time in a week on Wednesday, with gun battles and arson attacks erupting in the street after police captured four alleged drug gang members.

The detainees, whose identity is still unknown, are from the Gulf Cartel, one of Mexico’s oldest drug trafficking groups, also known for kidnappings and immigrant trafficking.

“We had blockades in the town of Altamira. They [organized crime groups] are trying to intimidate the government,” a state government official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The official said it was not yet clear whether the two people killed were trying to rescue the detainees or just caught in the crossfire.

Earlier in April, parts of Reynosa, a city across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas, ground to a halt after gunfights broke out and vehicles were set ablaze the same day authorities caught Gulf Cartel leader known as “El Gafe” there.

More than 100,000 people have died in gang-related violence in Mexico over the past eight years. President Enrique Pena Nieto pledged to restore order when he took office in 2012, but although the homicide count has fallen, parts of the country remain mired in violence.

Reporting by Anahi Rama; Writing by Christine Murray; Editing by Alan Crosby

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