News World Five dead as Mexican narcos shoot it out with federales

Five dead as Mexican narcos shoot it out with federales

Mexico is now so lawless that drug cartels openly patrol their turf in armoured vehicles like this machine-gun equipped war wagon. Photo: Twitter
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Mexico’s rampant drug has spawned another pitch battle between drug lords’ gunman and law enforcement, with a pitch firefight in the northern border town of Villa Union leaving at least five dead as locals ran for their lives.

Around midday, heavy gunfire began ringing out, and a convoy of armed pickup trucks could be seen moving around the town, located some 65km south of the US border

The outbreak of violence occurred during a testing week for the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who on Friday said he would not accept any foreign intervention in Mexico to deal with violent criminal gangs.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump said he planned to designate Mexican cartels as terrorist groups, sparking concerns the move could serve as a prelude to unilateral intervention in Mexico.

Mexico’s carte;ls have divided the country among themselves. Map: US DEA

US Attorney General William Barr is due to visit Mexico next week to discuss cooperation over security.

Lopez Obrador took office a year ago pledging to pacify the country after more than a decade of gang-fuelled violence.

A series of recent security lapses has raised questions about the left-leaning administration’s strategy.

Criticism has focused on the November 4 massacre of nine women and children of US-Mexican origin, and the armed forces’ release of a captured son of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman under pressure from cartel gunmen in the city of Culiacan.

– with AAP