FoxNews Latino, January 18, 2011
In the worst incident, assailants with heavy-caliber weapons opened fire Monday at people standing on a corner in Monterrey, killing three men and two women and leaving three other men wounded, a spokesman for the Nuevo Leon state Security Council told Efe.
The victims had apparently just gotten off a bus, the spokesman said.
Separately, men armed with AK-47 assault rifles gunned down brothers Benito, Juan and Heriberto Cardoza Vazquez inside a business in south Monterrey, Nuevo Leon’s capital and the headquarters of some of Mexico’s leading corporations.
Authorities say a group calling itself New Federation is responsible for more than 20 homicides so far this year in Nuevo Leon. The faction targets purported members of the Los Zetas drug cartel, currently embroiled in a turf war with other criminal organizations in northeastern Mexico.
Across the country in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, gunmen at a bar killed two musicians who declined to keep playing past closing time.
Killed were the group’s leader, 22-year-old Jonathan Martinez, and bandmate Gustavo Alejandro, 35. A club patron was wounded and taken to the Western Medical Center in Guadalajara.
Violence associated with the drug war has claimed more than 34,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006.
Fourteen inmates broke out Monday through a hole in a wall of a jail in Mexico’s most violent northern border state of Chihuahua, justice officials said.
A vehicle charged the metal gate of the Aquiles Serdan Social Rehabilitation Center to pick up the prisoners, said a statement from the state attorney general’s office.
The office updated the figure from 12 to 14 escaped prisoners late Monday, and said that five had been caught, along with three suspected accomplices, following air and ground searches by police.
An anonymous source from the office said that the prisoners had exchanged gunfire with their guards, while spokesman Carlos Gonzalez denied that they were armed.
Numerous convicted drug gang members from the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez have been transferred to the rehabilitation center but Gonzalez said the escapees were not highly dangerous and had been detained for robbery and assault.
Mexican jails are notoriously overcrowded and often see deadly riots and mass breakouts, such as the escape of 151 prisoners from a jail in the northeastern border city of Nuevo Laredo last month.
The latest breakout took place just three days after an armed gang killed the head of prison guards working throughout the violent state.
More than 3,100 people were killed in suspected drug violence in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s most deadly city, last year.