Tuesday, January 03, 2006

About that Mexico border wall.

Mexico: Sounds like Iraq on a bad day.

MEXICO CITY, Jan 3 (Reuters) - In a bloody start to the new year, Mexican drug hitmen gunned down mourners in a cemetery, killed two guests at a wedding and shot dead three people, police said on Tuesday. Mexico has been in the grip of a drug war between rival gangs since last year and about 1,500 people have been shot, beaten or suffocated to death by rival cartels battling for control of the lucrative cocaine, heroin and marijuana trade. Hitmen with assault rifles raked three men visiting a darkened cemetery in Culiacan -- a rough drug trafficking center in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa -- on New Year's Day, prosecutors said. One body was slumped over a tombstone in a pool of blood. Two other corpses lay nearby in the dirt and police found 53 spent AK-47 assault rifle cartridges nearby. In the western state of Michoacan, five pistol-toting gunmen burst into a wedding party on New Year's Eve and shot dead a man and 14-year-old boy in an apparently drug-related murder. Since Jan. 1, three people have been killed in Nuevo Laredo, over the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas, which is in the front line of a war between traffickers from Sinaloa and the local Gulf cartel for control of a lucrative drug route. A gunman shot dead a store keeper in the city early on Tuesday. A day earlier, unknown killers shot a man and a woman in a district notorious for drug dealing, and tossed their bodies in a garbage dump, police said. Violence along Mexico's northern border and in Sinaloa has spiraled since President Vicente Fox launched "the mother of all battles" against the cartels in January last year. Under a plan termed "Safe Mexico," Fox sent in hundreds of federal troops and police to cities in northern and central Mexico to try to restore order, although the wave of killings has continued regardless.

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