The Los Angeles Times reports on rising tensions between citizens and drug cartels in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, where a surge of violence has prompted some to fear a return to the bloody days of 2010. In a three-day period in the city of Tampico, arsonists torched four restaurants, bars and an auto dealership. A bomb threat evacuated a hospital. Bodies turned up, including a headless one at someone’s door, and gun battles raged within earshot of the main drag.
Business after business along that thoroughfare has closed, “for rent” or “for sale” signs dominate and few people venture out at night. A battle between rival factions of one of the country’s major drug cartels has unleashed a spasm of violence in Tamaulipas, leaving dozens killed and numerous people missing in the last two months. Residents of Tamaulipas, which is key to Mexico’s goal of attracting foreign investors to its oil industry, fear a return to the chaos four years ago, when hundreds of people died and communities lived in terror.