Garden where many of the party victims were shot--Photo:AFP
MEXICO CITY — Gunmen burst into a birthday party where celebrants were dancing to live music and opened fire early Sunday, killing at least 17 people in an attack that was violent even by the bloody standards of Mexico’s drug war.
The government said the attack, in a dance hall in the northern city of Torreón, appeared to be the work of a drug gang, but officials said they had not determined the possible motive for the killings as of late Sunday.
Among the dead was the birthday honoree, a man whose name was given only as “Mota,” according to authorities quoted by local media. ”Mota” is the Mexican slang word for marijuana.
The gunmen, who attacked at about 1:30 a.m., were traveling in a convoy of eight cars, witnesses told local media. Without warning they entered the the dance hall and began firing indiscriminately before escaping.
“They shot anything that moved,” according to a local police source quoted in El Norte newspaper.
Among the dead were five women. Although the vast majority of the nearly 25,000 people killed since President Felipe Calderón launched his attack on drug cartels in December 2006 have been men, women have increasingly become targets.
The police said 18 people were wounded in the dance-hall attack. Photographs of the scene showed the band’s abandoned instruments scattered over the bloodstained floor.
Torreón, in the state of Coahuila, which borders Texas, has become a battleground in the drug war as a transit point to the United States.
At the end of January, gunmen killed 10 young people in an attack in a bar there. In May, eight more young people were killed in an attack in another Torreón bar. Several of those who were killed were students and did not appear to have any links with drugs.
In May a journalist from Torreón was abducted and killed by kidnappers that investigators suspect were members of the Zetas drug cartel.
The Torreón dance-hall killings came three days after a car bomb in the border city of Ciudad Juarez killed four people, including two federal policemen. It was the first time that a car bomb had been used in an attack in the drug violence, leading to fears that Mexico may be facing a new kind of terrorism.
Attorney General Arturo Chavez Chavez, speaking to reporters on Friday, said that the car bomb was in retaliation for the arrest of a top gang leader on Thursday.
As for the increasing levels of violence, he attributed it to feuding among drug cartels. “When the organizations are split, the strongest keeps what it already has and the splinter group goes in search of new latitudes and that means they invade spaces that already belonged to somebody,” Mr. Chavez said. “That provokes conflicts and wars, which is what we’re living.”
For More Of The Crazy,Sexy & Informative Entertainment Stories Check Out
Visit Luke's Corner Entertainment And World News