Gun battles leave eight dead in Michoacan, Mexico

Residents of the town of Tuzantla in Michoacán reported that the clash between criminal cartels was due to the fight for territory.

Gun battles leave eight dead in Michoacan, Mexico
Eight civilians were killed and 4 vehicles were abandoned or burned, following armed clashes in Tuzantla, Michoacan. Photo: Agencies

On Wednesday, the Michoacan State Attorney General's Office (FGE) said that eight men were killed in the town of Tuzantla in a series of fights between people who are thought to be hitmen for a local cartel.

"When we got to the scene, specifically in the plaza, we found the dead bodies of eight men with gunshot wounds," the FGE confirmed in a statement.

Witnesses at the scene attributed the events to "La Nueva Familia Michoacana", a criminal organization led by brothers Johnny "El Pez" and Jose Alfredo "El Fresa" Hurtado, who allegedly fought with one of their former collaborators called El Chaparro, who was in charge of the assassination in the area.

Locals said on social media that the shooting started around 2 p.m. local time and that the gunmen broke into dozens of homes as they fought with their rivals all over the city, getting in and out of pickup trucks and motorcycles.

Just days ago, state authorities reported the disappearance of Jorge Ortega Flores, police director of the municipality of Irimbo in eastern Michoacan, also attributed to criminal organizations in the area.

"La Nueva Familia Michoacana" is a cartel operating in west-central Mexico, in a dispute for control of the region with the Los Correa and Jalisco Cartel-New Generation (CJNG).