A team gunman opened fire on three trucks transporting migrants on a highway in the southern border state of Chiapas Sunday morning, leaving two dead and seven wounded. The migrants, made up of primarily Guatemalans, were heading north toward the United States border as part of a caravan.
Three trucks were attacked by a team of gunmen believed to be rival human smugglers, according to a statement by the state attorney general’s office. The attack occurred on the Pujultic–Venustiano Carranza Highway within the state capital of Tuxtla Gutiérrez between 3 and 4 am. All victims were reportedly transported to local hospitals.
Chiapas is the main entry point for Central American migrants in caravans or smaller groups bound for the United States. With the daily influx, the region exhibited a spike in violent crime, narcotics dealing, and human smuggling activities. Breitbart News recently reported on the murder of two municipal police officers who were gunned down by a suspected MS-13 member from Honduras.
On Monday, the federal government announced a coordinated security operation with state and municipal police along the Guatemalan border to fight the increase of violent crime coinciding with the arrival of the caravans. According to Tapacula Mayor Óscar Gurría Penagos, many of Central Americans are not simple migrants but are purely criminal actors. According to local Breitbart law enforcement sources, many MS-13 and Barrio 18 members embedded with the caravans are fighting over street-level drug sales and engage in robberies and extortion throughout southern Mexico.
On Monday, four men believed to be of Guatemalan origin where gunned by hitmen on a motorcycle while they were eating at a street-side seafood restaurant in the downtown border city of Suchiate. The quadruple homicide is believed to be related to rival street narcotics gangs.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.