TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — Prosecutors in southern Mexico said Tuesday that at least six men were killed in an apparent ambush in a township near the Guatemalan border that is known as a migrant smuggling route.
Prosecutors in the southern state of Chiapas said the killings occurred Tuesday along a rural road in the township of Siltepec, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the border with Guatemala. The victims all appear to have been riding in the same pickup truck when attackers opened fire on them from the roadside.
According to videos posted on social media, most of the victims appeared to be wearing black T-shirts and jeans with short haircuts. The area has long been known as a migrant smuggling route. But it has also become the scene recently of bloody turf battles between the Jalisco and Sinaloa cartels for control of the smuggling and extortion businesses.
In the nearby city of Motozintla, the largest population center in the area, residents and taxi and bus drivers marched to protest what they said were constant threats and extortion from the cartels.
“For a safe Motozintla, no to protection payments, no to kidnappings. Peace and Tranquility!” read one of the leaflets handed out at the march Tuesday.
Closer to the border, unidentified assailants set a freight truck on fire, blocking the main road in the area.