- Title: At least 25 killed in 'horrendous' arson attack on bar in Mexico
- Date: 28th August 2019
- Summary: COATZACOALCOS, VERACRUZ, MEXICO (AUGUST 28, 2019) (REUTERS) HOSPITAL EXTERIOR VARIOUS OF RELATIVES WAITING FOR NEWS FAMILY MEMBER CRYING RELATIVES OUTSIDE HOSPITAL VARIOUS OF WOMAN ON MOBILE PHONE RELATIVES WAITING FOR NEWS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BROTHER OF HOSPITALISED VICTIM, JOSE CONTRERAS, SAYING: "He's not doing well. I would feel bad giving this information. My brother is not doing well. If he pulls through, then maybe we can talk. We ask for justice as usual." DEVASTATED WOMAN BEING COMFORTED BY TWO OTHERS
- Embargoed: 11th September 2019 18:54
- Keywords: 25 people killed arson attack suspected gang members bar Coatzacoalcos Lopez Obrador violence
- Location: COATZACOALCOS, VERACRUZ, MEXICO / MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- City: COATZACOALCOS, VERACRUZ, MEXICO / MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Fires,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA003AU4WB47
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: At least 25 people were killed in an arson attack by suspected gang members on a bar in the southeastern Mexican port of Coatzacoalcos late on Tuesday (August 27), President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said, in a fresh blow to his efforts to curb violence.
Calling the attack "horrendous," Lopez Obrador told a regular morning news conference on Wednesday (August 28) that the deaths occurred after the suspected gangsters closed the emergency exits of the bar in Coatzacoalcos and set fire to it.
The attorney general's office of the state of Veracruz said overnight that eight women and 15 men died in the fire at the "Caballo Blanco" bar, and 13 people who were seriously wounded were hospitalized for treatment.
Lopez Obrador said 25 people had died so far and that initial investigations indicated that some suspects behind the attack had been in custody this year and were later released.
The attack was one of the worst mass killings since the veteran leftist Lopez Obrador took office in December pledging to pacify Mexico by battling corruption and inequality.
So far, however, the number of murders has continued to rise after hitting record levels in 2018.
The deaths follow an attack in April on another bar in Veracruz in the city of Minatitlan that killed 13 people.
Veracruz state governor Cuitlahuac Garcia suggested in a post on Twitter that the attack was the result of a dispute between gangs.
The Gulf Coast state is a major transit point for drugs making their way north towards the U.S. border and has long been convulsed by violent turf wars between organized crime groups.
Some Mexican media reports said that gunmen had fired shots on the bar before setting it ablaze with Molotov cocktails.
(Production: Tamara Corro, Manuel Carrillo)
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