Salvador de Haro Munoz, the chief investigator in the dangerous Mexican state Tamaulipas, is dead after a gun battle with gang members, according to local reports.
The Associated Press reported that Munoz was in Ciudad Victoria, the state’s capital, investigating a known safe house for criminal gang members. When Munoz and fellow soldiers appeared on the scene late at night, gang members inside the home began shooting at them.
A gun battle ensued and allegedly left Munoz and and four armed criminals dead. Three marines and one military officer were also said to be wounded during the gun fight.
Five suspects, including two women, were ultimately apprehended at the scene, according to the Associated Press.
A series of shootouts has plagued Tamaulipas, which borders Texas, during the last few weeks.
Breitbart Texas reported on a series of violent incidents in late April that occurred in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, near the Texas border. Several shootouts left at least 17 dead. The deaths were allegedly the result of infighting between Gulf Cartel members.
Local officials believe that the fights were likely fueled by “El Paquito,” a Mexican crime boss who fell out of favor with Los Metros, a large section of the Gulf Cartel. The Associated Press reported that an unnamed source said “there were several other clashes between suspected drug cartel members prior to the firefights with law enforcement.”
Tamaulipas has “always been a focal point in the drug war, one of the busiest places on the border for northbound drugs and migrants and southbound weapons and cash,” according to a separate Associated Press report. Reynosa, which is in the northern part of Tamaulipas, is directly across the Rio Grande River from Hidalgo, Texas.
According to the AP, more immigrants enter the U.S. illegally from Tamaulipas than from anywhere else along the border; this makes the Mexican state attractive to drug traffickers, smugglers, and cartel members. The city had apparently “calmed” by 2012, but the area has seen a drastic uptick in crime recently, according to the AP.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.