Thursday, January 14, 2010

Murders in Mexican Border City Top 100

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, - More than 100 people have already been murdered this year in Ciudad Juarez, considered Mexico's most dangerous city and the scene of frequent shootouts between rival drug traffickers.


A spate of killings Monday in Juarez, located across the border from El Paso, Texas, pushed the murder toll to 103, according to a tally prepared by Efe using Chihuahua state Attorney General's Office figures, in the first 10 days of 2010.

Four men were gunned down at the Eduardos bar in downtown Juarez.

Three other men were "riddled" with rifle fire at a house in the southern section of the border city, prosecutors said.

Gunmen opened fire on two young men from a moving vehicle, killing them.

The 66-year-old owner of a garage and two other men were gunned down Monday afternoon.


The other killings occurred in separate incidents between Sunday afternoon and early Monday, with most of the victims shot to death, the AG's office said.

The murder rate took off in the border city of 1.5 million people in 2007, when more than 800 people were killed, then it more than doubled to 1,623 in 2008, according to press tallies, with the number of killings soaring to 2,635 last year.

Ciudad Juarez, with 191 homicides per 100,000 residents, was the most violent city in the world in 2009, registering a higher murder rate than San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Caracas, and Guatemala, two Mexican non-governmental organizations said Monday.

A police major and one of his bodyguards were shot by gunmen wearing police uniforms and traveling in two vehicles, the Police Intelligence Center, or Cipol, in Chihuahua city said.

Two of the gunmen and an officer were killed in the incident, Cipol said.

Maj. Jesus Garces was wounded in the 15-minute shootout with the gunmen, Cipol said.

The body of a police officer, who had been tortured, was found, officials said.

The officer was kidnapped by gunmen before being tortured and killed.

Mexico has been plagued in recent years by drug-related violence blamed on powerful cartels.

Last year, according to the El Universal newspaper, was the deadliest in Mexico in the past decade, with 7,724 people killed in violent incidents attributed to organized crime groups.

Mexico's most powerful drug trafficking organizations, according to experts, are the Sinaloa, Tijuana, Gulf, Juarez and Beltran Leyva cartels, and La Familia Michoacana.


President Felipe Calderon, who took office in December 2006, has deployed 50,000 soldiers and 20,000 federal police nationwide to combat drug cartels and other criminal organizations.

The anti-drug operation, however, has failed to put a dent in the violence due, according to experts, to drug cartels' ability to buy off the police and even high-ranking officials.

Mexico's most powerful drug trafficking organizations, according to experts, are the Sinaloa, Tijuana, Gulf, Juarez and Beltran Leyva cartels, and La Familia Michoacana.

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