At least 11 people, including two transit police officers, were gunned down in separate incidents over the weekend in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, officials said.
Six other people were murdered on Saturday in different parts of the border city, the AG’s office said, adding that the transit officers were killed while issuing a citation to a man.
Gunmen shot the officers from two SUVs, the AG’s office said.
A man was killed and another wounded when gunmen opened fire on four young men who were in the yard of a house, the municipal police department said.
The driver of a car was killed and his passenger wounded in another part of the city on Saturday, while two people died in a drive-by shooting in front of a fast-food restaurant.
A 26-year-old man was gunned down while walking on a street in the southeastern section of Ciudad Juarez on Friday night, the municipal police department said.
Investigators have not made any arrests in connection with the latest string of killings in Juarez, the AG’s office said.
At least 14,000 “armed criminals” are in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua city, the state capital, working for the drug cartels that are fighting for control of smuggling routes into the United States, Chihuahua Attorney General Carlos Manuel Salas said earlier this month.
“It was an inherited war, which we got from the prior administration, in which 9,000 armed criminals are fighting for Juarez and a number near 5,000 for the city of Chihuahua,” Salas said.
About 5,500 of the armed criminals operating in Ciudad Juarez belong to Los Aztecas, a gang that works as the armed wing of the Juarez cartel, while the rest work for the Sinaloa cartel, Salas said.
More than 8,500 people have been killed in Ciudad Juarez since late 2006, and the death toll this year has topped 900.
The violence has not subsided in Ciudad Juarez despite the deployment of nearly 10,000 soldiers and Federal Police officers in the border city.
More than 3,100 people were murdered in Ciudad Juarez last year, making 2010 the worst year since the war between rival drug gangs sent the homicide rate skyrocketing in 2008.
The federal government claims that the murder rate in Juarez has fallen 60 percent this year, but local activists contend that it has only dropped 24 percent.
A total of 15,270 people died in drug-related violence in Mexico last year, and nearly 40,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the country’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.
Calderon has deployed tens of thousands of soldiers and Federal Police officers across the country to combat drug cartels and other criminal organizations.
The anti-drug operation, however, has failed to put a dent in the violence due, according to experts, to drug cartels’ ability to buy off the police and even high-ranking officials.