“They arrived in 2 trucks and a BMW” according to the lucky witness. “At first I barely heard them tell everyone to hit the floor. They started yelling not to get up. Some people rose and the second blast killed many people and several people fell over me. Then I heard the third blast and more people were killed. In the bathroom there were many people shot in the legs. Then I heard tires squealing and they were gone”.
The first blast not mention by the witness was at the entrance to the “Juanas VIP” bar where 2 security guards and 2 guests were shot.
In what has become a frighteningly normal occurrence in Mexico a group of gunmen armed with automic weapons attacked a bar during a grand opening celebration in Torreon, Coahuila, after midnight Saturday morning.
The most current count is 8 dead and 18 wounded, with 10 victims in critical condition. Some are not expected to survive. Of the 18 wounded half are women. The youngest, 15 years old, was shot in the head. One of the dead was a female.
The reason for the attack has not been determined but it is certainly related to organized crime.
Later Saturday morning police located a pickup with the bodies of 4 decapitated men in Torreon’s sister city of Gomez Palacio located just across the border in the state of Durango (see “Photos of 4 Men Executed for Alleged Massacre” in this blog). There were messages at the site accusing the 4 victims of being the gunmen responsible for the attack on the “Juanas” bar.
This is the second attack against nightclubs in Torreon. Earlier this year on January 31, another group of gunmen attacked the bar “el Ferrie”. In that attack 10 victims were killed and another 15 wounded.
Torreon is a modern industrial city and transportation hub located approximately 250 miles south of the Texas border with a population of 1 million people.
Torreon has also become another drug violence battleground city. So far this year there have been 150 deaths related to organized crime attacks.
In other news from Coahuila
Members of the Saltillo Diocese Center for Human Rights “Fray Juan De Larios” and parents of the disappeared (missing/abducted persons) in Coahuila met on Friday in Mexico City with officials from the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR)/United Nations. Later in the day a pilgrimage was made to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Blanca Martinez, director of the Saltillo human rights office, has documented 35 cases of disappearances and evidence for 2 more cases had arrived Friday night from Coahuila.
Ms Martinez said that the UN body requested the documentation of cases to analyze the situation, to assist affected families. She noted that despite the efforts of Saltillo’s Bishop Vera Lopez to request assistance from the state government of Coahuila there has been no response.
They journeyed to Mexico City, she said, because in Coahuila governor Humberto Moreira intends to keep the occurrence of abductions in the dark.
Ms Martinez stated that the majority of the disappearances are caused by the actions of organized crime and that the victims she represented had no connection to the underworld.
In this war society is caught in the middle, she said. These are simple people, workers, students, youths.