0 Followers

The killing of 26 people at a drug rehab center in Mexico thought to be part of a gang war

July 3, 2020
19 Views
A woman reacts near the crime scene where 24 people were killed in Irapuato, Guanajuato state, Mexico, on July 1, 2020. - An armed attack at a drug rehabilitation center in Irapuato, a town in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, left at least 24 dead and seven wounded on Wednesday, local authorities reported. (Photo by MARIO ARMAS / AFP) (Photo by MARIO ARMAS/AFP via Getty Images)A woman reacts near the crime scene where 24 people were killed in Irapuato, Guanajuato state, Mexico, on July 1, 2020. - An armed attack at a drug rehabilitation center in Irapuato, a town in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, left at least 24 dead and seven wounded on Wednesday, local authorities reported. (Photo by MARIO ARMAS / AFP) (Photo by MARIO ARMAS/AFP via Getty Images)
<figcaption class="C($c-fuji-grey-h) Fz(13px) Py(5px) Lh(1.5)" title="People assist a woman near the rehabilitation facility where 26 people were killed in Irapuato, Mexico, on July 1, 2020.  (Mario Armas/ AFP/Getty Images)” data-reactid=”18″>

People assist a woman near the rehabilitation facility where 26 people were killed in Irapuato, Mexico, on July 1, 2020.  (Mario Armas/ AFP/Getty Images)

Drug rehabilitation centers have been frequent targets of attack in Mexico’s bloody gang wars.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But the massacre Wednesday at a facility in the city of Irapuato still managed to shock a nation gripped by escalating violence.” data-reactid=”24″>But the massacre Wednesday at a facility in the city of Irapuato still managed to shock a nation gripped by escalating violence.

Police said at least four gunmen with high-powered weapons arrived in a vehicle shortly after 5 p.m., barged inside, ordered everyone on the floor and then mowed them down, execution-style. At least 26 people were killed and five wounded.

Authorities suspect the assault was part of a ferocious turf battle between two criminal organizations — the local Santa Rosa de Lima gang and the powerful Jalisco New Generation cartel — that has transformed once-peaceful Guanajuato into one of Mexico’s deadliest states.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador vowed Thursday to not “abandon” Guanajuato and suggested that state authorities investigate possible links between local officials and organized crime.

“There has to be a division, the line has to be drawn between criminality and authority,” he said.

Criminal groups have long undermined the justice system in Mexico by paying off police, prosecutors, judges and politicians.

The attack at the “Recuperating My Life” rehab center was among the bloodiest incidents since López Obrador took office 19 months ago. It came as the president was celebrating the second anniversary of the landslide election that brought him to power. In a national address, he triumphantly cited statistics that he said showed crime was slowing.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But critics questioned what they called the president’s selective use of numbers that downplayed still-rising cases of homicides and other crimes.” data-reactid=”31″>But critics questioned what they called the president’s selective use of numbers that downplayed still-rising cases of homicides and other crimes.

Homicides nationwide climbed 54% to a record 34,668 in 2019 from 22,545 in 2016.

In Guanajuato state — a center for automobile production and other heavy manufacturing — the increase was far greater during that same period. Homicides more than tripled from 1,110 to 3,540.

That gave Guanajuato, which is home to 5.8 million people, the most homicides of any state last year. Only two of the country’s 32 states — Baja California and Colima, which are much smaller — had higher homicide rates.

In a recent radio interview, Mexican Atty. Gen. Alejandro Gertz Manero said that federal authorities would investigate why Guanajuato had become an “inferno of violence.”

The state’s governor, Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo, said the attack on the rehabilitation center demonstrated that “today more than ever, the intervention of federal and state authorities is needed as the only means to confront this situation with success.”

López Obrador said: “It’s our responsibility to protect the people of Guanajuato.”

But he did not dispatch additional troops or federal police, noting that National Guard troops were already on the scene. The president said he did not intend to “interfere” in local law enforcement decisions in Guanajuato, a state controlled by the opposition National Action Party.

Wednesday’s incident came less than a month after an attack on another drug rehab center in Irapuato, a city of 570,000 people 170 miles northwest of Mexico City. Gunmen killed 10 in the June 7 assault.

Both centers were among scores of unregistered treatment facilities in the state, authorities said. The Guanajuato state security chief, Alvar Cabeza de Vaca, said this week that some of the clandestine centers are linked to organized crime.

Drug rehabilitation facilities have come under attack many times in the 13 years since Mexico declared war on transnational drug gangs, setting off a bloody civil conflict that is on track to claim a record number of lives this year.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="In 2010, an assault on a Tijuana rehab center left 13 dead. A 2008 attack on a rehab center in Ciudad Juárez killed nine.” data-reactid=”42″>In 2010, an assault on a Tijuana rehab center left 13 dead. A 2008 attack on a rehab center in Ciudad Juárez killed nine.

The targeting of such centers is typically linked to conflicts involving drug dealing. Rehabilitation facilities are often filled with recovering addicts who once sold drugs to help fund habits. Their past or present links to organized crime may make them targets.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Increasingly, Mexico’s violence is fueled less by battles linked to lucrative trafficking routes to the United States and more to competition in a growing domestic drug trade and other illicit industries, including fuel theft and extortion rackets.” data-reactid=”44″>Increasingly, Mexico’s violence is fueled less by battles linked to lucrative trafficking routes to the United States and more to competition in a growing domestic drug trade and other illicit industries, including fuel theft and extortion rackets.

In parts of Mexico, officials estimate that up to 90% of homicides are linked to local drug sales.

In Guanajuato state, the Jalisco New Generation cartel and the Santa Rosa de Lima gang and various offshoots have been battling for control of the sale of marijuana and methamphetamine as well as for dominance of other rackets. The Mexican media have also reported that the Santa Rosa organization, which specializes in fuel theft, has clashed with the New Generation group over drug-trafficking routes through Guanajuato state from the Pacific coast to the U.S.-Mexico border.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Special correspondent Cecilia Sánchez contributed to this report. ” data-reactid=”49″>Special correspondent Cecilia Sánchez contributed to this report.

You may be interested

Missouri votes to approve Medicaid expansion, overriding GOP opposition
News
14 views
News
14 views

Missouri votes to approve Medicaid expansion, overriding GOP opposition

admin - August 5, 2020

Voters wait in line to enter a polling place at Halls Ferry Elementary in Florissant, Mo., on Tuesday. (Michael B.…

2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate was impounded in Beirut's port after it was seized from an abandoned ship in 2014, years before the explosion
News
14 views
News
14 views

2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate was impounded in Beirut's port after it was seized from an abandoned ship in 2014, years before the explosion

admin - August 5, 2020

Beirut's port on Wednesday after the massive explosion.PATRICK BAZ/AFP via Getty ImagesLebanon's Supreme Defense Council said on Tuesday that 2,750…

Beirut Ignored Public Warning There Was a Russian ‘Bomb’ at the Port
News
13 views
News
13 views

Beirut Ignored Public Warning There Was a Russian ‘Bomb’ at the Port

admin - August 5, 2020

AFP via Getty ImagesYears before a devastating blast killed at least 100 people and injured more than 4,000 in Beirut…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.