Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Eight Killed in Mexican Border City

Eight people were killed in separate incidents in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.

Six people, including a 17-year-old boy, were gunned down, while one person was stabbed to death and another was beaten to death, the AG’s office said.

The bodies of three men, one of whom had been beaten to death, were found early Sunday in Ciudad Juarez, located just across the border from El Paso, Texas.

One of the men was stabbed to death in the Libertad neighborhood and the other was gunned down in the Parajes San Juan section of the border city.

Five other people, including a woman, were killed between Saturday afternoon and midnight.

The body of the woman, identified as Lidia Magallanes Cordoba, 32, was found in the middle of the street. She had been shot three times.

The teenager, identified as Irving Ramirez, was shot in the side and died at Ciudad Juarez’s Hospital de la Familia.

Ciudad Juarez, where more than 5,000 people have been murdered since 2008, has been plagued by drug-related violence for years.

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.

The death toll for this year currently stands at nearly 900, including 16 people massacred on Jan. 31 while attending a birthday party in the Villas de Salvarcar neighborhood.

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 in a report released earlier this year.

Juarez first gained notoriety in the early 1990s when young women began to disappear in the area.

More than 400 women have been killed in Juarez since 1993, with the majority of the cases going unsolved.

In most of the slayings, the victims were young women from poor families who came to the border city from all over Mexico to work in the many assembly plants, known as maquiladoras, built here to take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, backed by hitmen from local street gangs, have been fighting for control of the border city.

President Felipe Calderon’s administration has deployed about 5,000 Federal Police officers in the border city to try to stem a wave of violence unleashed by drug cartels battling for control of smuggling routes into the United States.

The Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, backed by hitmen from local street gangs, have been fighting for control of the border city.

Press reports say the Sinaloa organization, Mexico’s oldest and largest drug cartel, has effectively taken control of Juarez.

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