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News (Media Awareness Project) - Mexico: Drug War Escalates
Title:Mexico: Drug War Escalates
Published On:2011-07-10
Source:Province, The (CN BC)
Fetched On:2011-07-11 06:01:27

10 people decapitated, 20 slain in bar shooting

Mexican authorities sent in an extra 1,800 police Saturday to fight
the country's gruesome and deadly drug war, with at least 41 people
slain over the weekend including 10 who were decapitated.

The 1,800 federal agents were sent into Michoacan state on Saturday,
in a battle there mainly with the Knights Templars, a splinter group
of the La Familia drugs cartel. The reinforcements were backed by 170
vehicles, 15 ambulances and MI-4 and Black Hawk helicopters, the
Public Safety office announced.

National Security Council spokesman Alejandro Poire called it a
"reinforcement operation faced with the possibility of greater
mobilization by organized crime groups."

"They are waging an absurd war, to the death, for control of criminal
turf and drug trafficking routes to the United States," he said.

The federal government already has about 50,000 army troops and
thousands of federal police in its fight against drug cartels. It
blames the groups for most of the 37,000 people killed since it
started a military offensive against the cartels in December 2006.

And this weekend was no exception to the staggering degree of fearsome
bloodletting, at times meant to intimidate and also, often inflicted
when groups of people refuse to co-operate with drug

Police in the northern city of Torreon said Saturday they found the
headless bodies of seven men and three women in the back of an
abandoned pickup truck. Police chief Guillermo Flores said only one
head, belonging to a woman, was found on site, and that the killers
had placed it on the truck's hood. The pickup truck was parked on a
highway that goes around Torreon, a city of some 650,000 where two
major highways heading north to the United States converge.

The victims had apparently been executed "several days ago" in
disparate locations, and their bodies were piled up in the abandoned
pickup truck "in an attempt to sow terror among the citizens of
Torreon," the city municipal police said.

Police have not said if they have suspects yet, but Coahuila state,
where Torreon is located, is a battleground for two powerful Mexican
drug cartels: the Zetas, founded by former Mexican special forces
soldiers, and the Pacific cartel. The decapitated bodies were
discovered hours after 20 people were killed late Friday when gunmen
attacked a local bar in Monterrey.

The attackers, who arrived in two pickup trucks and a car, stormed
into a bar in Monterrey's busy nightlife district and opened fire on
the patrons.

Separately, 11 people were shot dead Friday afternoon in Chalco, a
town on the outskirts of Mexico City.
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