Several episodes of drug-related violence have claimed dozens of lives in Mexico in recent days, but the detonation of a car bomb of the type that has afflicted U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has law enforcement officials on both sides of the border especially concerned.
The detonation in Ciudad Juarez late last week that killed three people lured into an ambush is expected to be only the beginning of an escalating war that has moved from gun battles to remote controlled explosives, officials said.
“In Iraq the game changed after the first [Improvised Explosive Device] was detonated,” said a military official who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. “We saw the same thing in Afghanistan. I expect the drug cartels in Mexico will follow in the same footsteps. It’s only going to get worse when they get so brazen, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if we see this being done more often.”
The car bombing last week was only one among numerous bloody incidents across Mexico this past week.
Five factory workers near the U.S. border and four police officers in Acapulco were killed over the weekend.
Another 17 people were gunned down and more than 18 others injured at a birthday party in Torreon in Northern Mexico on Friday. Armed gunmen began a rampage, firing at guests indiscriminately, according to reports in the Mexican press.
More than 7,000 people have been killed so far this year in drug-related violence in Mexico, an escalation of the violence that claimed 9,000 lives for all of 2009.