CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO // A second massacre in as many months has shaken the border city of Ciudad Juarez, once considered one of the most dangerous places in the world, but whose falling crime rate has been held up recently as a model for all of Mexico.
Officials in the northern city grappled with the brutal killing of eight related people as authorities in western Mexico said on Monday they had uncovered more remains from clandestine graves linked to drug violence. In the same region, vigilantes who have been fighting one of the cartels seized a town in a weekend clash that killed two people.
In Ciudad Juarez, the eight members of an extended family found stabbed to death on Sunday were not victims of organised crime and may have been killed by someone they knew, Chihuahua officials said. There was no forced entry into the house where they were found, and the knife used in the stabbing was possibly from the kitchen, the state prosecutor Enrique Villareal said.
The attack included the binding and killing of three young children and was an assault on the entire community, said Enrique Serrano, mayor of the border city across from El Paso, Texas. “We deeply reject this act and hope to have results soon,” he said.
All the victims had tape over their mouths and their hands were tied, including two 4-year-olds and a 6-year-old. A 3-month-old baby was spared. The oldest victim was a 60-year-old woman, one of three adult women and two adults males killed.
State authorities are offering 300,000 pesos (Dh85,000) for information about the assailants.
Warring drug cartels once made Ciudad Juarez one of the deadliest cities in the world, but drug-related killings had declined in recent years. According to federal statistics, homicides spiked in the city in 2010 at 3,900 and have fallen steadily to 1,134 in the first nine months of this year. The federal government now combines all killings into one statistic and no longer says how many are related to drugs trafficking.
The city has one of the busiest crossings into the US and is considered a desirable route for drug traffickers. Mexican federal officials have said they turned around Ciudad Juarez with better security and millions invested in social programmes. Others say violence has dropped because one of two warring cartels won the battle over the routes.
* Associated Press