At least 13 young people were shot dead and 15 wounded in an attack on a house party in Ciudad Juárez—the second such massacre in less than a week in the violence-torn Mexican city bordering Texas. Gunmen in three cars drove up to the home around 11 PM on Oct. 22 and began shooting, the Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office said. The dead were 14 to 20 years old, and a 9-year-old was gravely wounded. On Oct. 17, gunmen similarly stormed two homes in Ciudad Juárez, killing nine young people. (AP, Oct. 23)
A Texas National Guardsman was also shot dead in Ciudad Juárez this week, according to local officials and reports. The body of José Gil Hernández Ramírez, 21, of El Paso, was identified by members of his family, the Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office said. He was apparently in Juárez for personal reasons, and was shot dead with another man under circumstances that remain unclear.
The deaths of the two men came as drug cartels fought gun-battles with the Mexican army in several parts of the northern border region this week, including residential areas. Parents rushed to take their children out of school, while factories forced some workers to stay inside for their own safety and told others not to come to work. (MSNBC, Oct. 23)
Local media reports are playing up Marisol Valles, 20, the new police chief of Praxedis Guadalupe Guerrero, a town in the Juárez Valley just outside the city, as the voice of courage in the terrorized region. Described as “a petite 20-year-old college student who paints her nails pink, has an infant son and believes in non-violence,” she told the Mexican media, “We are doing this for a new generation of people who don’t want to be afraid anymore.”
The Sinaloa Cartel is said to be waging an extermination campaign against local Juárez Cartel members in the valley, offering their rivals a choice of “plomo o plata”—lead or silver. (The Guardian, Oct. 21)