A damaged pick up is on a street of Villa Union, Mexico, after a gun battle between security forces and gunmen. File/AP
A big shootout between rival drug gangs killed 19 people in the northern Mexico border state of Chihuahua, state prosecutors’ office said Saturday.
A total of 18 corpses, two grenades, vehicles and guns were found at the scene of the clash in the hamlet of Chuchuichupa the township of Madera.
Two other men were found armed and wounded on the dirt road where the confrontation occurred late Friday. One died later at a hospital, and the other is in custody.
The office said police and soldiers had been sent to secure the area, where groups allied with the Sinaloa cartel have been fighting other gangs, including a remnant of the Beltran Leyva gang and others aligned with the Juarez cartel.
In an area about 60 miles (100 kilometres) to the north of Friday's clash, nine US-Mexican dual citizens were ambushed and slain Nov. 4 by suspected drug gang assassins along a remote road. It was not clear if any of the same groups were involved in the two sets of killings.
The discovery of the bodies was another reminder of the task facing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December vowing to reduce the gang-fuelled violence.
Coahuila state Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme told local media four of the dead were police officers killed in the initial confrontation, and that several municipal workers were missing.
The dead included two officers and six people believed to have been held captive in a house in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco state, the state prosecutor's office said. Another man died on the street.
In Chicago, one of America’s most violent cities, drug arrests have plummeted 42 per cent in the weeks since the city shut down, compared with the same period last year. Part of that decrease, some criminal lawyers say, is that drug dealers have no choice but to wait out the economic slump.
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