Justice in Mexico

3 U.S. Citizens Killed in Veracruz Violence

12/23/11 –  16 people were killed in Veracruz on December 22 when five armed gunmen went on a killing spree. The killings began when gunmen opened fire on four people in the small town of El Higo and then attacked three passenger buses on a rural highway by Tampico. The death toll has been reported as high as 20 persons, but only 16 deaths have been confirmed. Three of the confirmed dead are United States citizens visiting family for the holidays, which has drawn a serious amount of attention to the incident.

Map Credit: Los Angeles Times

As of now, no information has been confirmed about the identifications of the deceased of the first attack in El Higo, and only the U.S. citizens have been identified from the bus attacks. The latter attacks occured near the Tamaulipas state border, a battleground turf for the Zeta and Gulf drug cartels. The deceased American citizens killed were Maria Sánchez Hernández, 39, of Fort Worth, Texas, and her daughters Karla, 19, and Cristina, 13. All three held dual U.S.-Mexican citizenship.

The U.S. consulate confirmed the American citizen’s identities and urged Americans to exercise caution when traveling in Veracruz and “avoid intercity road travel at night”. Veracruz state spokeswoman Gina Dominguez said in an interview with Milenio TV that the gunmen have yet to be identified. “We are working to identify them, to identify the group that attacked the buses,” she said, but she did disclose that the Mexican Navy recovered an armor-reinforced vehicle, five rifles, 54 ammunition clips, and eight cellphones. Dominguez also noted that the three buses were owned by three different companies and there has been no confirmed motive, though investigations are ongoing. All five of the gunmen were killed in the gunfire when federal forces were alerted and surrounded the scene.


The violence occurred just a day after the entire police forces were disbanded and the Mexican Navy took over the port area of Veracruz and Boca del Rio.


“Latin American Leaders Blast U.S. Drug Policies, Call For Decriminalization.” Huffington Post.  December 21, 2011.

“Latin American leaders assail U.S. drug ‘market’.” Washington Post. December 21, 2011. 

“Gunmen attack buses, town in Veracruz, Mexico killing 11” Los Angeles Times. December 22, 2011. 

“Deaths in gang violence in Mexico.” Al Jazeera. December 23, 2011.

1 thought on “3 U.S. Citizens Killed in Veracruz Violence”

  1. I found a fascinating interview of Georgina Dominguez, spokesperson for the government of Veracruz. The best part is when the reporter puts her on the spot about why it was only when the ARMY intervened that the attacks began to be stopped, and the STATE/ MUNICIPAL POLICE didn’t respond in time. Anyone following this story has got to hear this! “Georgina Domínguez, vocera del gobierno de Veracruz. Pese ataque a autobuses, Veracruz defiende estrategia de seguridad.” W Radio. December 23, 2011. http://www.wradio.com.mx/playermini.aspx?id=1596718

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