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Apr-28-2010 22:27printcomments

Bloodshed in Juarez: 15 Killed in 11 Hours

How many have to die before something changes? The answer seems far away.

Recent violence in Ciudad, Juarez Mexico.
Special thanks to france24.com and Borderland Beat for photos of recent violence in Ciudad, Juarez Mexico.

(CIUDAD / SALEM) - Perhaps the term "drug war" has been so greatly abused in America that people fail to realize there is a real drug war taking place no more than a stone's throw from the U.S. border with Mexico.

The rate of death from this drug war in Mexico absolutely smokes anything taking place in the Mideast, at least on the average day.

Our contact in Juarez, Tosh Plumlee, sees this devastation of humanity on a daily basis, and the victims of this drug war aren't strung out junkies lying in allies, they're merchants on their way to work, they are mothers, they are infants in car seats, and kids on playgrounds.

He wrote, "I notice today that the mainstream media in the United States reported six Afgans killed in a mistaken raid. Yesterday they reported 4 deaths due to fire fights. However nothing about Juarez or Mexico for that matter."

We published a special feature earlier today about the intense non-stop violence and mayhem in Ciudad, Solidarity with a Besieged Sister City, with quotes from New Mexico State University criminal justice Professor Cynthia Bejarano, who discussed the potential outcome and future of people so saddled with the constant threat and spectacle of death[1].

Bejarano told the newspaper Frontera NorteSur, "What we’re afraid of is that this is breeding a sense of normalization, of normalized violence, that people understand as part of the everyday routine, which is really worrisome and disconcerting."

Tosh Plumlee says the count stands at 300 dead in Juarez so far this month.

It's like the Old West, only worse. People who look fondly at those rough and tumble years are allowed their perspective, but we are talking about a lawless and frequently uncivilized period.

The perpetrators could get away with it in the old days because they cold blaze a trail and ride off into the sunset.

Today we should be able to have a grip on such needless constant bloodshed, but it is likely that more people die in this region every day right now than in the 1880's. There is even a video game about lawless Juarez during the days of the Old West, "Call Of Juarez". It probably doesn't help youngsters throughout the U.S. comprehend that such madness could continue today.

What a disappointment life must be for kids to actually spend every day of their life in this place, dodging bullets. The details of early April were examined in another recent Salem-News.com article, Hand Grenade Tossed in U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo[2].

15 killed in the last 11 hours in Juarez

Tosh Plumlee reminds us that the violence is not restricted to Mexico. American ranches in particular are under direct threat and in some cases, there is nobody close enough to help, especially when a whole team of bandits arrive to commit the dirty work.

"Two people murdered in Columbus, New Mexico and a local residence shot up and two dogs killed, yesterday. Columbus is about 12 miles north of the Mexican border. Our State Department had no comment."

Plumlee says these incidents against American homes are escalating, it is reminiscent of what took place a century ago when Pancho Villa and his Army made border crossings, attacking towns north of Mexico.

Two University Students Among 4 Killed

Today the violence was rampant in the city.

The lifeless bodies of four people were discovered inside of a green 1998 Chevy Cavalier in Ciudad. The car had no plates; it was found in the parking lot of the supermarket at Four Centuries Boulevard and Arizona Street.

Local reports indicate that the victims ranged in age between 18 and 30 years, and that two of them are students from UACG (Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez).

Apparently the deceased lived near the place of the attack; their relatives were the first to arrive at the scene, reportedly a few minutes after it happened, to report the multiple homicide.

After arriving at the tragic scene, several women broke down weeping, even requiring the attention of the Red Cross paramedics on scene. No medical skills were needed for the victims in the car.

Gunned Down in Front of a Pre School

Also today, three people traveling in a car were killed in front of the Benito Juárez pre-school establishment and kindergarten, as several dozen children enjoyed their hour of recreation.

The victims were traveling near the school in a gold Lincoln when gunmen in another moving car opened fire. Two of the murder victims are men of approximately 35 years of age.

The word on the street was that they belonged to the gang known as, "The Aztecas". The third victim in the car was a pregnant woman.

Local papers report that the panic unleashed by the event was so severe, that several of the small kids required medical attention, due to the nervous crisis that they had suffered. This happened on Gold Street, at the corner of Maria Martinez, in the Bellavista colony.

Parents rushing to the school to retrieve their young children were told the kids were safer inside than outside, and not allowed to take them home.

All told, seven children were treated for stress from the event, they probably all need counseling.

Azteca Gang Members Killed Execution Style

In an attack this morning, eight men were massacred by gunfire in the back parking lot of a bar called "Aristos". News reports in Mexico claim this could be members of the "Aztecs". This deadly shooting happened around 4:14 a.m., in the dark, on Vicente Guerrero Avenue and Honduras Street of the colony the Alluvial fan.

According to a source who was not named, the victims were drinking alcohol in the bar when a armed commando arrived. The men were held at gunpoint, and after a few moments, taken to the parking lot where they were lined up and murdered execution style.

Police were called to the scene. The triggermen may have been driving a 1986 Chevy Blazer that was black in color. Victims were apparently reluctant to reveal information.

Criminal investigation experts of the State Agency of Investigations (AEI) went to the scene and apparently they found at least eight ballistic elements, confirming the belief that the victims were each assassinated by having a single fatal bullet wound to the head.

Some sound thinking needs to take place as the U.S. remains the biggest customer of Mexico's highly competitive drug trade. Americans are spending billions fighting the use of marijuana in the U.S. while people are falling like flies right on the line of American existence.

The "Minutemen" are all the rage with the GOP Tea Party set, and while they fret over farm workers illegally crossing into the U.S. to harvest fruit, they don't seem to be putting a dent in the ability of Mexican cartel members to simply drive into the U.S., murder Americans, and then head back over. Talk about a lack of national security. I think the wrong people are at the head of this table, and as long as the U.S. remains at war with its own citizens with endless drug laws, the gut wrenching murders will take place, with only a handful of us in the U.S. media taking the time to sound the alarm bell.

And that is unfair, because all of Mexico is not under duress, not by any means. Hopefully our ongoing reports are allowing readers to understand that this is a border problem first and foremost, and that other cartel wars are in specific areas and not just taking place all over Mexico. This is a nation of people who seek security and a future for their kids the way anyone does. But white drugs have poisoned the minds of the illegal armies that keep pushing harder and harder against each other.

It is a tragedy every moment of every day and night for the people of Ciudad, Juarez.

[1] Apr-28-2010: Special Feature: Solidarity with a Besieged Sister City - Kent Patterson for Salem-News.com

[2] Apr-12-2010: Hand Grenade Tossed in U.S. Consulate in Nuevo LaredoSalem-News.com

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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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jason on Tx border April 29, 2010 11:14 am (Pacific time)

The reason a handful of U.S. journalists cover this, is because they know the truth would hurt their party's chances for "immigration reform".


elguapo April 28, 2010 11:10 pm (Pacific time)

Instead of looking for true solutions to the problems they will attempt and turn the area into a police state, harass and kill innocent civilians an totally ignore the real problems. (NAFTA,US DRUG POLICY,...)

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.



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