20 Killed Over Weekend In Mexican Border City

Olivia Torres, MSNBC, November 7, 2010

At least 20 people were killed in drug-gang violence over the weekend in this northern Mexican border city, including seven found dead outside one house.

The seven men were believed to have been at a family party when they were gunned down Saturday night, said Arturo Sandoval, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office in Chihuahua state, where Ciudad Juarez is located. Five were found dead in a car, and the other two were shot at the entrance of the home.

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Few residents now venture out to bars and restaurants. And like those attacked on Saturday, others have discovered that they aren’t even safe in their own homes: Last month, gunmen stormed two neighboring houses and massacred more than a dozen young people attending a party for a 15-year-old boy.

Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, has become one of the world’s deadliest cities in the time that the two cartels have been fighting. More than 6,500 people have been killed since the start of 2008.

But the violence doesn’t stop there. In the southern city of Oaxaca, police found a human head in a gift-wrapped box left Saturday night on the side of a cliff popular for its view of the picturesque colonial center.

Reporters at the scene saw a threatening message left with the head signed, “the last letter Z,” an apparent reference to the Zetas drug gang.

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