Gunmen in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, kill at least 16 at drug rehabilitation center

juarez
Authorities say they have no motive for Wednesday’s killings. The rehab center is one of dozens in Juarez that often draw clients from street gangs affiliated with feuding trafficking groups.

By Ken Ellingwood
10:12 AM PDT, September 3, 2009

Reporting from Mexico City- Gunmen stormed a rehabilitation center for drug addicts in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez and executed at least 16 people, authorities said today.

Mexican media reports said the gunmen lined the victims up behind the center before shooting them one by one.

Officials offered no motive for Wednesday night’s attack, which bore markings of the vicious war between drug-trafficking gangs that has turned Juarez into Mexico’s most violent corner, with around 3,000 killings since the beginning of 2008, by some unofficial tallies.

The violence has continued despite the deployment of more than 9,000 Mexican troops and federal police to restore order. The soldiers, most of whom were dispatched early this year, are to remain while the city tries to rebuild a police force that had become deeply infiltrated by the trafficking gangs.

Authorities had few details on the attack at the El Aliviane clinic, a private facility that is one of dozens in the frontier city. The centers often draw clients from street gangs that serve as foot soldiers for feuding trafficking groups; they frequently have been sites of recruitment for the cartels. At least three other clinics in Juarez have been targets of similar attacks.

Mexico, once merely a pipeline for drugs heading north to the United States, confronts a growing problem of consumption and addiction that has contributed to the nation’s soaring violence. More than 11,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on drug traffickers in December 2006.

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1 Comment for “Gunmen in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, kill at least 16 at drug rehabilitation center”

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