REYNOSA, Mexico — A car explodes outside a police station, another outside a television station. A gang is suspected of massacring 72 migrants. A prosecutor investigating those deaths suddenly disappears.
Mexico's drug cartels seem to be adopting the tactics of war zones half a world away.
The violence appears to have contributed to fewer migrants crossing the border into the U.S., officials say, as they have to traverse some of Mexico's most dangerous territory to get to Texas. Mexican officials, meanwhile, warned that there likely will be more violence in the coming months.
"Violence will persist and even intensify," President Felipe Calderon said at a forum on security where he vowed he would not back down.
Never miss a local story.
If authorities confirm the explosions were car bombs, it would mean a total of four such explosives have been used this year in Mexico — a new tactic that officials say the cartels are using in the escalating drug war.
No drug gangs claimed responsibility for Friday's violence in the northern state of Tamaulipas.
A survivor of the massacre, however, said the killers identified themselves as Zetas, a group of former Mexican army special forces who are now a lethal drug gang that has taken to extorting migrants.
The two car explosions happened less than 45 minutes apart in Ciudad Victoria, the Tamaulipas state capital, the Attorney General's Office said. The first exploded in front of the offices of the Televisa network and the second in front of transit-police offices.
There were no injuries, though both caused some damage to buildings and knocked out the signal of the Televisa network for several hours.
The network described the explosion as a car bomb, but the state attorney general's office said the cause of the explosions have not been determined.