Updated 12:32 PM EDT, Tue, Oct 26, 2021

Drug Cartel Rivalries in Veracruz Lead to Murder at Birthday Celebration

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With the battle between rival Mexican drug cartels heating up in the state of Veracruz, a children's party recently became the site of multiple murders. The groups involved in the fighting in this case include the Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas, the Nuevo Generacion Cartel as well as members of the Familia Michoacana, according to reports.

The incident took place Friday night inside a restaurant where party-goers were celebrating a birthday. Two men and a boy were killed. Reports say that masked gunmen carrying AK-47 assault rifles shot a group of people celebrating inside the El Gran Chaparral restaurant which is located near the Matamoro-Puerto Juarez highway.

The shooting occurred in an area called Juan Diaz Covarrubias. "Veracruz, Mexico's third most populous state, has been plagued by a turf war between rival drug cartels that has sent the murder rate skyrocketing in the past few years," reports the Latin American Herald newspaper.

There's no information on which cartel was responsible, but Los Zetas are known for being especially bloody killers in the area. Zetas are seen as the number one drug cartel in terms of deadly homicides committed in the region, according to IBTimes. Their narcotic-trafficking related killings include beheadings and many kidnappings. They are known for "the extortions that take place in Mexico," said the US Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) chief for Mexico and Central America Ralph Reyes, after the cartel murdered a police chief, his wife and four children in Veracruz, Mexico," the website reports.  

Los Zetas often target civilians in their attacks, according to officials, and are known for large scale massacres such as the 2010 First San Fernando Massacre, where Los Zetas killed a total of 72 immigrants. They followed those killing with another mass killing in the same area in which 193 people were murdered.

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