Michael Webster
August 19, 2009
More Americans among shooting victims in Mexico
By Michael Webster

As many as six more Americans killed in Juarez. Two men from El Paso were among the victims of a multiple shooting inside a Juarez bar. Mexican newspapers reported that the shooting and murders were apparently retaliation to the on going war among Mexican Drug Cartels.

At least 21 persons were murdered within 24 hours in Ciudad Juarez. Eight of those victims (two Americans) were shot at the "Seven Seven" bar in Juarez. The other thirteen all died late Sunday within a five hour period. Last year, Juarez won the title of the most violent city in Mexico, with more than 1,600 out of the nearly 6,000 that took place in the entire country. More than a dozen Americans have been killed in Mexico since the beginning of the year. According to a main Mexico City newspaper, this year's total killed in Mexico, both Americans and Mexicans has reached 4,353 so far and is in line to surpass the 2008 record. More Americans have been kidnapped, tortured and killed in Mexico than ever before in recent memory.

A Chihuahua state police spokesman has identified Benito Felix Holguin, 38, and Jose Antonio Flores Jr., 33, as U.S. citizens born in El Paso who were among the victims.

The men were among seven men and a woman shot inside the Seven & Seven bar early Monday. Mexican media reports that the victims were chosen to die using the Mexican game "Tin Marin," which is similar to "Eeny, meeny, miney, moe."

Police on both sides of the border confirm Holguin was wanted in connection with a murder in El Paso which was believed to be drug-related.

"We are trying to find out if it is the same individual," El Paso police spokesman Javier Sambrano said earlier in the week.

Holguin and his brother Alfredo Holguin are suspected of shooting and killing Mark Cedillo during a kidnapping attempt in the parking lot of a strip mall on Lee Trevino Drive in 2002, according to El Paso Times archives.

The El Paso times is reporting that the deaths, according to a banner found in Juarez, was linked to the war between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartel, which is known as La Linea.

The banner supposedly left by La Linea claimed that the victims in the bar were innocent people killed by gunmen working for reputed Sinaloa drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman as payback for the deaths of several men La Linea killed in the Valley of Juarez recently.

"La Linea does not kill innocent people or families ... 'Chapo' killed one of our guys and his family last Friday in (the village of) Loma Blanca," the banner read in Spanish.

The banner stated La Linea retaliated by killing eight men, described as criminals, leading to the counter strike at the Seven & Seven bar.

A news release from the Juarez city government seemed to confirm the account by stating that innocent people have been killed and that the cartel war is not over.

Friday, still more Americans were killed. A man, his wife and his stepdaughter from Las Cruces were killed in a shooting on the Juárez-Porvenir highway in Loma Blanca. It is believed by Mexican Police that the shooting was the family referred to in the Mexican Cartel banner.

Around 11:15 p.m. that same Monday, a young boy and a man believed to be Americans were killed when a family traveling in a Chevrolet Suburban was attacked on that same highway by shooters near the village of San Isidro in Juarez, state police said. Armando Pulido Mota, 45, and Ivan Christopher Salgado, 4, were killed. An unidentified woman also believed to be an American was hospitalized as a result of the same shooting.

In response to a major increase in death and violence in the Mexican President's home state of Michoacán President Felipe Calderon sent more than 5,500 additional troops and federal police to protect, defend and support federal forces already there and other Mexican law enforcement personal who have taken a stand against the Mexican Drug Cartel known as La Familia. Many of those troops sent where taken from the Juarez area. Locals feared that would leave Juarez vulnerable and many now believe that is true and is at least part of the reason for the recent up-tick in violence. According to authorities 16 police officers and a unknown number of Mexican solders have been slain recently by the Cartels well coordinated, organized and well armed paramilitary . Federal authorities hold the La Familia Mexican Drug Cartel responsible for those slayings. Some leaders in the Mexican like Congress believe that the forces being used by the Mexican Government to combat the Mexican Drug Cartels are inadequate.

Mexican Drug Cartels angered by a nationwide military crackdown on their drug and other criminal actives are striking back. This powerful group of organized criminals and their alliance, also known as the Federation, is a cooperating group of the major Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) also known as Mexican Drug Cartels and their Para-military units and gangs that are attacking Mexican Army troops and Federal Police. They also as a resource for the cartels carryout murders, smuggle drugs, humans and launder money, along with protecting drug transportation routes for the cartels, both in Mexico and on into the United states.

Concerned citizen Jose Carlos said "we as residents of Juarez fear for our safety even more now since the troops were pulled out and the city is more vulnerable." Nearly 4,000 people, including more than 160 just this month alone, have been killed in the Juarez area since a war between Mexican Drug Cartels and the Mexican Government began in 2006 shortly after the election of Mexican President Calderon.

Sources:

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO)

Diario de Yucatan

El Paso Times

El Paso Police Dept.

Mexican law enforcement

Mexican Army Officer


© Michael Webster

 

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Michael Webster

Michael Webster's Syndicated Investigative Reports are read worldwide, in 100 or more U.S. outlets and in at least 136 countries and territories. He publishes articles in association with global news agencies and media information services with more than 350 news affiliates in 136 countries... (more)

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