US citizens shot dead by Mexican drug gangs
By Adam Thomson in Mexico City
Published: March 14 2010 22:53 | Last updated: March 14 2010 22:53
Three people with links to the US consulate in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez were gunned down at the weekend by “drug cartel hit teams”, according to a US official.
A consulate employee and her husband, both US citizens, were murdered while driving in the violent border city, which neighbours El Paso, Texas. Their baby daughter, who was sitting in the back seat, survived the attack.
In a separate incident the husband of a Mexican consulate employee was killed while driving through the city, one of the world’s most violent. According to media reports, his two children were injured in the attack.
On Sunday Mike Hammer, the White House National Security Council spokesman, said Barack Obama, US president, was “deeply saddened and outraged” by the news of the killings.
Mexico’s foreign ministry issued a statement condemning the murders and promised to work with the US government to investigate the crime. “Mexican authorities will work tirelessly to throw light on the circumstances surrounding the crime,” it said.
The murders come as Mexico suffers a wave of violence associated with the government’s war on organised crime, which it has made its policy cornerstone.
At the weekend, local media reported the murder of 31 people in and around the Pacific-coast beach resort of Acapulco in what are believed to be drug-related murders. At least two of the victims were found decapitated.
The crimewave has provoked the US to issue travel warnings for citizens planning on visiting Mexico’s border cities. On Sunday the US state department announced that its diplomats working in six northern Mexico cities were told they could send family members home.
But so far this year, Ciudad Juárez has borne the brunt of the crime. During the first two months of 2010, 410 people were murdered in the sprawling, industrial city. Last year there were 2,600 murders in the city, which has a population of 1.3m.
Felipe Calderón, Mexico’s centre-right president, has sent thousands of troops to patrol the city’s streets in the past 12 months in an attempt to restore order.
But federal police officers and military personnel complain they do not have sufficient intelligence to combat the crime groups effectively.
A recent poll showed that the violence was taking its toll on the government, with Mr Calderón’s image as a leader at 47 per cent – the lowest point since he took office in December 2006.
Mensaje editado por eudocio
03-16-2010 10:44 PM - editado 03-16-2010 10:44 PM
U.S. vows FBI help after Mexico killings 15 Mar 2010 19:30:33 GMT
* State Dept says consulate closed for security review
* U.S. says too early to say if diplomats targeted
* U.S. in for long haul in Mexico's anti-drug fight
WASHINGTON, March 15 (Reuters) - The United States pledged support for Mexico on Monday in its war against drug gangs as the FBI joined the investigation of the murders of two Americans and a Mexican linked to the U.S. consulate in a violent border city.
"The tragedy of this weekend just underscores how severe and significant a danger this represents to Mexico, to the United States, to the hemisphere," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told a news briefing.
"We all share that determination that ultimately, through a variety of means, we will take back these streets one community at a time."
U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday voiced outrage over the murders, part of a surge in drug-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border that has alarmed Washington.
An American employee of the consulate in Cuidad Juarez and her husband were shot dead by suspected drug gang hitmen as they left a consulate social event.
A Mexican man married to another consulate employee was killed around the same time in another part of the city, just across the border from El Paso, Texas, after he and his wife left the same event.
Crowley said the consulate in Cuidad Juarez would remain closed on Tuesday as officials reviewed security and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had mobilized teams to assist Mexican authorities investigating the incident.
He downplayed suggestions that U.S. diplomats had been targeted in the attacks. Violence has exploded in recent months in Cuidad Juarez as rival drug gangs struggle for control over the city, a hotspot in Mexico's three-year-old drug war.
"This is something that has profoundly affected the Mexican population. At various times it has also affected U.S. citizens," Crowley said. "But as to whether this was a particular incident directed at U.S diplomats, I think we're not prepared to draw that conclusion yet."
SECURITY REVIEW AT CONSULATES
The State Department on Sunday authorized the departure of dependents of U.S. government personnel from consulates in Ciudad Juarez and five other northern border cities.
Crowley said the United States would review security at its diplomatic facilities all along the border and work with Mexico to determine whether further steps were needed to protect them.
Nearly 19,000 people have been killed since President Felipe Calderon came to power in Mexico in late 2006 and launched a military assault on the drug cartels, leading to even more violence.
Most victims are rival traffickers and police and, to a lesser extent, soldiers, local officials and bystanders. It is rare for drug gang hitmen to target foreigners.
The United States has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to Mexico to help with the anti-drug fight, which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year acknowledged was fueled at least in part by U.S. demand for illegal drugs. (Reporting by Andrew Quinn; Editing by John O'Callaghan)
Publicado: 03-16-2010 10:45 PM
EEUU cierra su consulado en Ciudad Juárez tras asesinato a connacionales
La medida la tomaron en señal de duelo tras el asesinatode tres personas allegadas a esa sede diplomática, dos de ellas estadounidenses.
El consulado de EE.UU. en la conflictiva urbe de Ciudad Juárez amaneció hoy cerrado en señal de duelo tras el asesinato de tres personas allegadas a esa sede diplomática, dos de ellas estadounidenses, lo que generó confusión entre las personas que acudieron al lugar para realizar trámites.
Pese a que se anunció que la representación consular en Ciudad Juárez, fronteriza con la urbe estadounidense de El Paso (Texas), permanecería cerrada hoy, desde las primeras horas del martes se apreciaron decenas de personas esperando en el exterior del inmueble, ubicado en el norte de la ciudad.
El sábado fueron asesinados en el centro de la localidad, cuando viajaban a bordo de una camioneta, Lesley Ann Enriquez, una empleada del consulado estadounidense, y su marido, Arthur Redelfs, un oficial de Policía de la oficina del Sheriff en el condado de El Paso.
Un bebé de varios meses, que viajaba con la pareja, resulto ileso en el ataque.
Asimismo, un policía estatal que estaba casado con una empleada de la sede consular fue asesinado este sábado por un grupo de hombres armados, también en la zona centro de Ciudad Juárez.
El policía viajaba con su hijo, de 4 años, quien resultó sin heridas.
El consulado, que el lunes cerró sus puertas también por ser día festivo en México, luce desde hace dos días la bandera de los Estados Unidos a media asta en señal de duelo.
"Sí sabía que estaría cerrado ayer por ser día inhábil, pero desconocía que también hoy estaría cerrado. Saqué mi cita para hoy y nadie me aviso", dijo a Efe un ciudadano mexicano procedente del interior del país y que está en la urbe fronteriza desde el pasado jueves.
Según información proporcionada por las autoridades diplomáticas estadounidenses, alrededor de 800 personas acuden cada día a efectuar trámites migratorios en Ciudad Juárez.
El consulado de EE.UU. reanudará sus servicios al público en su horario habitual a partir de mañana.
El Gobierno mexicano mantiene desplegados en la urbe a alrededor de 10.000 efectivos del Ejército y de la Policía Federal para tratar de contener la violencia de los cárteles de la droga que se disputan el control de la zona, principalmente el cártel de Sinaloa y de Juárez.
El presidente de México, Felipe Clderón, viaja hoy a Ciudad Juárez acompañado de su gabinete de seguridad y del embajador de Estados Unidos en territorio mexicano, Carlos Pascual, para analizar la situación de inseguridad que vive esa localidad, la más violenta del país. EFE
Publicado: 03-16-2010 11:12 PM
Mensaje editado por eudocio
03-17-2010 03:13 PM - editado 03-17-2010 03:13 PM
Publicado: 03-17-2010 06:54 PM