- Title: MEXICO: Seventeen people are killed in blood soaked Juarez
- Date: 18th August 2009
- Summary: CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO (AUGUST 17, 2009) (REUTERS) STREET
- Embargoed: 2nd September 2009 13:00
- Location: Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Reuters ID: LVA8SQAY5WT8MKWM6S5CP0BWZYZF
- Story Text: In eight hours, seventeen people were killed in a northern border city which is at the heart of Mexico's drug war, police said on Monday (August 17).
In a now familiar scene in Ciudad Juarez across from El Paso, Texas, hitmen killed three men on Monday. Their lifeless bodies lay in the street in broad daylight as forensic scientists worked at the crime scene.
In a separate event on Sunday (August 16), unknown gunmen opened fire at a group of people sitting outside a grocery store. Four died instantly while two others died later in hospital suffering from severe gun wounds.
At dawn on Monday, an armed group of men walked into a bar and shot eight people, seven men and one woman. Six were customers and two owned the bar.
Four people were gravely injured and taken to near-by hospitals where they are fighting for their lives.
Most residents in the city once famed for its night life are too scared to go out and swarms of U.S. tourists no longer cross the border to go to local bars. Rivals target anyone suspected of working for the cartels, increasingly small-time drug peddlers while 10,000 troops and police have been unable to stop tit-for-tat killings.
Last month was the deadliest month of President Felipe Calderon's nearly three-year army assault on powerful cartels across Mexico with 850 deaths, according to media tallies.
The death rate so far this year stands at around 4,000, about a third higher than in the same period in 2008 despite a brief lull earlier in the year.
Mexico has managed to disrupt cocaine supplies and make some major arrests but top barons are still at large and more than 13,000 people have died in drug violence since Calderon took office in December 2006.
U.S. anti-drug aid is slow in coming and the drugs war is scaring off foreign investment just as Mexico suffers a deep economic recession.
Two main groups, the Gulf cartel from northeastern Mexico and the Sinaloa gang from the Pacific, are battling for control of smuggling routes into the United States. A host of other cartels, including the cult-like "La Familia" (The Family) from Calderon's home state of Michoacan, have joined the fight.
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