Aug 26 2010

The Border Is Serious Business (Why People Are Dying)

Mexico (Reuters) – Mexican marines found 72 bodies at a remote ranch near the U.S. border, the navy said Wednesday, the biggest single haul of bodies in an increasingly violent drug war.

Below are some of the worst attacks since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and declared war on powerful drug cartels. Some 28,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since then.

* Sept 15, 2008 – Suspected members of the Zetas drug gang tossed grenades into a crowd celebrating Mexico’s independence day in the western city of Morelia, killing eight people and wounding more than 100.

* Jan 31, 2010 – Suspected cartel hitmen killed 13 high school students and two adults at a party in Ciudad Juarez.

* March 13 – Hitmen killed three people linked to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez in March, provoking “outrage” from U.S. President Barack Obama.

* March 28 – Gunmen in northwestern Durango state killed 10 people, as young as 8 years old, after the pick-up truck they were traveling in sped through a roadblock on a highway in the drug-producing “Golden Triangle” region.

* June 7 – Police pulled 55 bodies out of in a mine in the colonial town of Taxco near Mexico City over several days. Some bodies were in advanced states of decomposition.

* June 11 – Two dozen heavily armed gunmen burst into a drug rehabilitation clinic in the northern city of Chihuahua and killed 19 addicts, ranging in age from 18 to 25.

* June 28 – Suspected cartel hitmen shot and killed a popular gubernatorial candidate in the northern state of Tamaulipas in the worst cartel attack on a politician to date. Rodolfo Torre, 46, and four aides from the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, were ambushed on their way to a campaign event for the July 4 state election.

* July 15 – A 22-pound (10-kilo) car bomb killed four people in Ciudad Juarez in a blast that was detonated by cell phone, the first such attack since Calderon took office.

* July 18 – Gunmen burst into a birthday party in the northern city of Torreon, using automatic weapons to kill 17 party-goers and wound 18 others. Mexican authorities later said those responsible were incarcerated cartel hitmen who were let out of jail by corrupt officials. The killers allegedly borrowed weapons and vehicles from prison guards and later returned to their cells.

* July 24 – Police unearthed 51 bodies in a grave outside Mexico’s business capital Monterrey in northern Mexico over several days. Some corpses were burned beyond recognition.

* Aug 18 – The body of the mayor of Santiago, a colonial tourist town near Monterrey, was dumped on a rural road, two days after he was taken from his home. Calderon condemned the killing of Edelmiro Cavazos, the latest attack on public officials in an escalating drug war.

* Aug 25 – Marines found 58 men and 14 women at a ranch near the Gulf of Mexico in Tamaulipas state, some 90 miles from the Texas border, after a firefight with drug hitmen in which three gunmen and a marine died.

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