SEPTEMBER 22, 2013
Mexico: Criminal – Ten people were shot dead by a group of gunmen in Loma Blanca, a town situated roughly 30km east of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico’s Chihuahua state, on 22 September. Reports indicate that the victims were part of a baseball team that had gathered after a game, when gunmen entered the private venue and opened fire. Although unconfirmed, it is believed that the perpetrators belonged to a criminal group linked to drug cartel activity. Although further details of the case have yet to be revealed, it is more than likely that this marked the latest significant incident of drug cartel-related violence in Mexico.
Ciudad Juarez and neighboring towns have been some of the areas worst affected by this violence since former president, Felipe Calderon, launched a large-scale anti-narcotics security strategy in an effort to combat organized crime in 2006. Although levels of violence in the Ciudad Juarez area have decreased since their height in 2011, this area of Chihuahua state still exhibits high rates of conflict between rival cartels, and between cartels and security forces.
It should be noted that incidents of this nature are not limited to Chihuahua and take place on a regular basis throughout the country. Such violence is, for the most part, confined to those connected in some way to the narcotics trade; these include members of drug cartels themselves, police officers, criminal justice officials or journalists. Foreign nationals are not generally targeted or directly affected by the violence; however, the possibility of inadvertently being caught in the crossfire remains a concern.
Prepared by: jet