Two men and a woman were killed by gunmen as they drove down an avenue over the weekend in Chihuahua city, the capital of the like-named northern Mexican state, police said.
The victims were on a busy avenue when their compact car was cut off by the gunmen, who opened fire on the vehicle, the Chihuahua municipal police department said.
The men got out of the car and tried to run, but the gunmen killed them, police said, adding that the woman was shot dead inside the automobile.
The unidentified gunmen managed to get away from the crime scene and investigators do not have any leads in the shooting.
Chihuahua, one of the states most affected by drug-related violence in Mexico, has accounted for about 30 percent of the more than 40,000 drug-related murders registered since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the country’s drug cartels nearly five years ago.
The state accounted for 1,567 of the 10,022 drug-related murders registered between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 in Mexico, a report published last month in Mexico City’s Reforma newspaper said.
Chihuahua is home to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital.
Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, has been the scene in the past few years of a turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels.
Ciudad Juarez 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 310 people were killed, then it more than tripled to 1,607 in 2008, according to Chihuahua AG’s office figures, with the number of killings climbing to 2,754 in 2009.
More than 3,100 people were murdered in the border city last year, making 2010 the worst year since a war between rival drug gangs sent the homicide rate skyrocketing in 2008.
The killing has not slowed this year, with about 1,900 people murdered in Juarez.