[THS] 17 Assassinated in Mexican Rehab Center
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Sun Sep 6 13:40:42 CEST 2009
17 Killed in Mexican Rehab Center
New York Times ......"Drug Dealers don´t want you to change"!
By MARC LACEY
Published: September 3, 2009
CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico Several masked men armed with automatic weapons
stormed into a drug rehabilitation center in this violent border city on Wednesday
night, lined up recovering drug addicts and alcoholics against a wall and opened fire
at point-blank range, killing 17 people and wounding three.
The attack, within sight of the border with the United States, was a shocking new
low in the wave of vicious crimes Mexico has endured since President Felipe Calderón
began a frontal assault on the nations drug gangs in December 2006. Rehab clinics
have been a special target in Juárez, with cartels hunting for rivals who might be
hiding in the clinics or recruiting in them.
After investigators had removed the bodies early Thursday morning and rushed the
survivors to the hospital, relatives of the victims at the Aliviane rehab center pushed
inside. A thick layer of blood covered the concrete floor, from the entrance to the
courtyard to the sleeping quarters. A chained dog had been shot, while another
huddled in a corner, unhurt. The smell of death hung in the air.
Its horrible, wailed a woman whose son had been a patient at the clinic. She
clutched a telephone pole for support after stumbling away. My God, she said. My
son is dead.
The upsurge of violence in Juárez, where rival gangs have been battling for the
lucrative smuggling route to the United States, seems an open challenge to Mr.
Calderóns government, which has sent 10,000 troops and federal police officers to
patrol the streets and retake control of the city from the traffickers.
Despite the reinforcements, Juárez experienced the most violent month in its history
in August, according to the local media, with at least 326 killings. That was almost
half the homicides in all of Mexico for the month. And Juárez, Mexicos most violent
city in 2008 with 1,600 killings, is on pace to exceed that figure this year.
In Michoacán, a center of drug violence west of Mexico City, the deputy director of
public safety, José Manuel Revuelta, was shot to death on Wednesday, along with
two bodyguards. He had been on the job for less than two weeks.
In the past two years, gunmen suspected of ties with drug gangs have barged into
rehab clinics in Juárez four times and started shooting. The death toll from these
attacks on clinics is now about 32.
Juan Manuel Vega, who has run a treatment center for years in Juárez, said drug
users found it very hard to change their ways.
Everything about your life has to change, he said. And there are people who dont
want you to change.
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