Mexico: narco-killing spree in Ciudad Juárez —and throughout country

Gunmen killed six young men the night of Oct. 11 at a family party in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez. Most of the victims were shot; one was beaten to death, and one body was found wrapped in a blanket. Investigators found four bodies on a sidewalk in the Juárez Nuevo colonia (neighborhood). Two other bodies were found inside the home’s front patio. This brought the toll in presumably drug-related violence in Juárez to at least 25 over the weekend—and to more than 1,070 since the beginning of the year. (El Paso Times, AP, Oct. 12)

On Oct. 8, two Chihuahua state police officers were shot to death by men in another car along a busy avenue in Juárez. Hours after the attack, a wreath was left outside the city police headquarters accompanied by a threatening message and the name of the two slain officers and a thid officer. (LAT, Oct. 10)

In Chihuahua City, the state capital to the south, black-clad and hooded gunmen armed with assault rifles pushed their way into a bar the night of Oct. 9, identifying themselves as federal police—and opened fire on the patrons, leaving 11 dead. (Reuters, Oct. 10)

Also Oct. 9, five Jalisco state police officers were killed by men who lobbed grenades and fired more than 800 rounds as they prepared to search a car they had stopped in the town of Lagos de Moreno outside Guadalajara. The assailants arrived in two pickup trucks. Two bystanders were also wounded in the attack. Local authorities said they suspected the Zetas narco-paramilitary force in the hit. (LAT, Oct. 10)

On Oct. 4, Salvador Vergara Cruz, mayor of Ixtapán de la Sal in Mexico state, was killed by hooded assassins armed with semiautomatic rifles as he drove with other officials. Authorities have arrested 14 suspects, including the mayor’s former driver. The Mexico state prosecutor general’s office said merchants in Ixtapán had been refusing to pay protection money to The Family crime machine, with the mayor’s support. More than 3,000 Mexican have been killed in presumed drug violence across the nation this year. (LAT, Oct. 8)

See our last posts on Mexico’s narco wars and the struggle in Chihuahua.