Like an out of control locomotive, narco terrorist killings this weekend are propelling the body count to 25,000 mark since the beginning of the Calderon administration. Instead of slowing, the body count is gathering steam as we pass the halfway point of what may well be the bloodiest year in terms of violent deaths since the Mexican Revolution.
Sunday morning’s tragedy centers on Torreon, Coahuila, already the scene this year of two previous mass homicides in night clubs.
At 1:30 AM Sunday, an unknown number of gunmen traveling in a convoy of between 5 to 8 trucks entered a birthday party being held at a country villa known as the “Italia Inn” and massacred 17 partygoers, including 5 women.
Another 18 people survived the attack with gunshot wounds and many were in serious condition in local hospitals. At least 5 of the survivors were women.
The “Italia Inn” is a villa with gardens and a pool that is rented out for fiestas and special events such as dances and birthday parties.
According to statements from survivors, the gunmen blocked the entrance and shouting “kill them all”, opened fire on the fiesta.
During the day Sunday, a report from the Coahuila Attorney General’s office, which is in charge of the investigation, announced that the attack occurred against a group of gays and lesbians who hosted the party and that the invitation had been posted on a Facebook page.
However, the Attorney General’s office changed their statement later in the day and said that the party was held for the birthday of a man identified only as "Mota."
At this point it is unknown if this attack was a hate crime against the gay community in Torreon but that possibility remains.
Facebook page invitation for the party in the Italia Inn
There are several theories as to the identity of the attackers. One theory states that the killers were members of Los Zetas and another theory is that the owners of the Italia Inn have links to Los Zetas and the attackers were members of a rival organized criminal group, maybe from the Sinaloa cartel.
It is possible we may never know the attackers’ true identity and motive.
What seems to be certain is that most if not all victims of this attack are innocent civilians caught in the middle of this increasingly brutal war.
Threat against the Italia Inn had previously been issued.
A threat against the Italia Inn had been issued on a Spanish language drug war internet forum in May immediately after the attack during the grand opening of the Juanasbar bar in Torreon that left 9 youths dead and 19 others wounded.
On that site a person identified as Informador 1 posted a comment saying “Ahora la próxima será en la quinta al lado de gayoso en periférico, sigan haciendo pendejadas, luego no digan que no se les advirtió… ustedes deciden”.
The threat translates to “the next one (mass killing) will be in the quinta (or country villa) next to the business establishment Gayoso, if you keep screwing around don’t say we didn’t warn you, you decide”
The country villa next to the Gayoso is the Italia Inn.
The motive for the attack on the Juanas bar was said to be retribution against the owner who was linked to Los Zetas. That same morning 4 young men who allegedly participated in that attack were found decapitated with a “narco” message saying that Los Zetas had executed the murderers from the Bar.
3 massacres in Torreon this year.
This is the third time this year that narco terrorism of this magnitude occurs in Torreon.
The first was reported last January and the second in May. Both attacks were aimed at young people in several bars.
On January 31, gunmen attacked the Ferrie and the Ay Nanita bars, then went on a rampage shooting down motorists and groups of pedestrians in public areas. The toll in the city for that weekend was 28 people dead and more than 40 seriously wounded.
On May 15, gunmen attacked the Juanas bar were 9 youths lost their lives. For that weekend a total of 21 people were shot and killed in organized crime style executions in Torreon.