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Raging drug cartel clashes leaves 32 dead in 24 hours in Mexican border state of Chihuahua

January 9, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Raging drug cartel clashes leaves 32 dead in 24 hours in Mexican border state of Chihuahua

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At least 32 victims, including five women and multiple children – have been executed in less than 24 hours as two rival Mexican drug cartels battled in the northern border state of Chihuahua.

The slayings are related to a territorial conflict between the Juarez cartel, also known as La Linea, and their rival La Gente Nueva (New People), the paramilitary armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel.

According to La Jornada, 23 people were reportedly killed between Thursday and Friday in Ciudad Juarez.

Additionally, seven murders were reported in Chihuahua, which is the capital of the state. Smaller towns such as Bocoyna and Cuauhtemoc reported homicides during the 24-hour period.

Juarez Municipal Public Security Secretary Ricardo Realivazquez Dominguez said most of the victims were members of the Los Mexicles gang, which are aligned with the La Gente Nueva. The group is engulfed in a bloody territorial war with Los Aztecas, a rival group working with La Linea.

Mayor Armando Cabada contended that the most recent murders aren’t the result of a drop in security, but it is simply due to the continuing conflict between the criminal organizations.

In separate attacks, cartel gunmen opened fire on two auto shops, killing six employees and wounding another victim in the Fernando Baeza neighborhood.

According to TeleSur, among the six victims killed included 42-year-old Edgar Rodriguez, a former member of the Mexican armed forces, and his 14-year old nephew.

In another attack, two American women visiting family members in the border city of Juarez were among three victims gunned down by armed assassins in the Roma neighborhood.

Authorities have not released the identities of the two U.S. citizens killed in the violence. It is not clear whether any of the victims had associations with drug cartels.

Juarez continues to be one of the most violent cities in Mexico. According to the State Prosecutor’s Office, 770 victims were killed in the city last year alone.

Last year, reporter Miroslava Breach was shot and killed in front of her residence. She was threatened several times for her work documenting the local ties between drug cartels and the two biggest political parties in Mexico.

In three months, over 200 killings related to cartel violence were reported in Chihuahua.

To attempt to combat violence, a new Internal Security Law has been proposed which would provide greater freedom to the military to conduct anti-cartel operations.

However, critics claim the law is a violation of Mexicans’ human rights and will only reinforce military violence and impunity.

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