Fox news Latino
Ciudad Juarez – Two college students were fatally shot and set on fire in this violent Mexican border city, authorities said Tuesday.
The victims were identified as two males, ages 18 and 19, who attended the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, a public institution in the likenamed state.
Their charred bodies were found Monday inside a pickup truck belonging to one of them.
The students were chased down by armed men who shot them, doused their bodies with gasoline and set them ablaze inside the truck, Juarez police said.
The mother of one victim told reporters her son was not involved in any criminal activity and that she had no idea why he would have been targeted.
Her husband said it would be pointless to demand justice for his son, "because here there is no justice."
The vast majority of the thousands of gangland killings that take place every year in Juarez and the surrounding state of Chihuahua go unpunished.
"My son's murder is not the first, it has happened to many young people and there is never justice," added the victim's father, who, like his wife, spoke to the press on condition of anonymity.
Police found 33 shell casings at the crime scene, along with a plastic bottle containing gasoline.
Ciudad Juarez, which sits just across the border from El Paso, Texas, is Mexico's murder capital, with more than 3,100 homicides this year and upwards of 8,000 since the beginning of 2008.
Authorities blame the violence on turf battles among drug cartels, but the volume of killings has exploded since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle with organized crime.
The drug war has claimed more than 30,000 lives in Mexico over the past four years, including nearly 12,500 in 2010.
The government's oft-repeated assurances that most of the dead are gunmen or others linked to the cartels offend the families of victims who had no ties to organized crime.
Under pressure from the public, authorities have launched probes of allegations that soldiers planted weapons on bodies to make it appear that fatalities occurred during gunbattles.
The elite of Mexico's main industrial hub, Monterrey, were incensed after an incident in March that saw two graduate students at prestigious Monterrey Tech killed by soldiers during a pursuit of suspected cartel gunmen.
Before positively identifying the dead, the military described the students as criminals.