The following editorial comes from the El Paso Times:
Ciudad Juarez, Chih - What next? Is anybody safe in Juárez? Now gunmen turn parties into massacres! Sixteen were shot dead and another 10 were wounded in one hail of lead Saturday. Victims ranged in ages from 13 to 42. Eight were students.
Fifteen gunmen, showing up in four vehicles, stormed the residences. And has been the case in most massacres and killings the past two years, the gunmen got away before law enforcement arrived.
What next? That’s a logical question considering the chronology of what’s been going on since a drug war escalated in Juárez in January 2008.
The first year cartel gunmen largely shot each other. There were 1,600 reported murders.
Last year it became more common for gunmen, automatic weapons ablaze, to barge into drug rehab centers. And people were shot in broad daylight on city streets.
Innocents, including some young children, were caught in cross-fire.
Now it’s not uncommon for gangsters of both drug cartels and other criminal elements to shoot whole groups of people instead of just a targeted individual or two. By the end of 2009, there had been more than 4,400 killings in Juárez — and the rate is on the increase this year.
Nothing has stopped, or even slowed down, this war. Law enforcement — even the Mexican military thousands strong — has appeared helpless, or isn’t trying hard enough.
The massacre of 16 is horrible. It is not a record number. At one of the drug rehab clinics, 18 were killed at once. Note that when we hear the word “massacre” we think back to that infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929. That was a Chicago mob killing.
Eight men were lined up and shot. In Juárez, twice that many were shot at one drug rehab clinic last year. Now 16 at three houses.
From shooting their rivals, to brazen public mowdowns ... to innocent people in crossfires ...
How can anyone be safe if there’s no law in Juárez? The criminals show they are in total control. Into what walk of life, and where, will these unchecked killers go next?