Violence erupted yesterday in two Mexican border cities, leaving at least nine dead. The attacks between rival cartels occurred in Agua Prieta and Naco, opposite Douglas and Naco, Arizona.

The first shootout occurred at approximately 1 pm on the outskirts of Agua Prieta in colonia Infonavit Alamito, when a group of cartel gunmen riding in several vehicles intercepted a red Chevrolet Silverado and a black sedan and immediately opened fire. The muzzle reports could be heard for several minutes, according to several local media sources.

Numerous amateur cell phone recordings were immediately posted on social media by citizens and local journalists, capturing the audio of the gunfire and the aftermath of the deadly shooting. In one video posted online, a group of presumed onlookers approach the Silverado and are seen looting a rifle, handgun, and ballistic armor.

A total of four men and one woman were killed. According to police, no arrest or suspect information is available. Investigative personnel from the state attorney general’s office processed the crime scene.

The next attack occurred at approximately 6 pm in Naco’s colonia Colosio, when a group of cartel gunmen intercepted a Chevrolet HHR occupied by four males. As they opened heavy rifle fire at the vehicle, the four occupants were immediately killed. A 12-year-old female was also reportedly struck by stray gunfire and was later transported to a local hospital, according to local media reports. Amateur cell phone videos of the aftermath were also posted on social media.

According to local Breitbart News sources, the cartel violence in this region is primarily related to a turf war over lucrative smuggling routes into by rival factions of the Sinaloa Cartel and Beltran Leyva. Local authorities believe both violent confrontations are related. Naco is located approximately 22 miles west of Agua Prieta, Sonora.

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at robertrarce@gmail.com

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