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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Coffins Bring Sorrow Home to Juarenses

El Paso Times

Friends of slain brothers Jose Luis Pina Davila, 16, and Marco Pina Davila, 19, mourn outside the family home Tuesday in Juarez.

You could feel the pain. You could sense the desperation. You could understand the sorrow.

More than 200 people crowded the interiors of several small houses and walked along the street of a southeastern neighborhood where 16 people -- 11 younger than 20 years old -- were mercilessly gunned down at a birthday party three days before.

Twelve others were wounded.

Family and friends surrounded coffins in at least eight houses, where wakes were being held. Heartbreaking cries and mournful shouts were heard coming from the homes.

Along the street and sidewalks, some students wearing school uniforms held each other and wept. Others wrote messages on posters while tears streaked their faces.

Several other people stood around silently.

Soldiers carrying assault rifles guarded the outer streets of the block. Some overlooked the neighborhood from atop houses. A helicopter with federal police patrolled.

The heightened security was to prevent another attack in the Villa de Salvarcar neighborhood such as the one that occurred Saturday.

That night, gunmen sealed off the block and stormed into a birthday party with large-caliber weapons.

The assailants entered at least two houses and sprayed people with bullets. Many standing outside the homes were shot dead.

The gunmen fled. One person was arrested Tuesday, and the alleged mastermind of the massacre was killed in a shootout with soldiers Monday. The gunmen believed those at the party belonged to the Artista

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