How the gunfights in north Mexico that left 22 dead unfolded
Residents of Villa Union were recovering from Thanksgiving festivities, many of whom had American relatives visiting for the holiday when dozens of pickup trucks crowded with armed men drove into the town. Hours-long gunbattles ensued in a military-style invasion conducted by the suspected cartel members. The aftermath included 22 dead, dozens more injured, and 50 homes and building riddled with bullet holes. Authorities uncovered 25 abandoned vehicles with machine-gun turrets and placards identifying them as drug cartel vehicles.
After residents noticed CDN markings on the trucks, they began to hide. CDN stands for Cartel de Noreste, or Cartel of the Northeast. The attackers abducted three local government employees and five young men. The gunfire lasted for well over an hour, and left four state police officers dead. Later that evening, police and soldiers searched for fleeing members of the group, sometimes using helicopters. Another gun battle broke out and more attackers were killed despite bulletproof vests and camouflage clothing. All five young men abducted were found alive, but two of the three government employees were killed.