Following shooting of 13, Mexico governor calls for tougher crackdown on crime


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The governor of violence-torn Chihuahua state on Monday urged President Felipe Calderon to revamp his anti-crime strategy after a weekend shooting there killed 13 people, including a baby, reports the L.A. Times’ Ken Ellingwood.

Gunmen opened fire Saturday on a family gathering in the northern border state, which has become Mexico’s most violent spot amid bloody feuding between drug gangs and a government crackdown on them.


Following the attack, Chihuahua Gov. Jose Reyes Baeza called on federal authorities to improve intelligence gathering, clean up corrupt police forces and review a government offensive that has deployed more than 3,000 troops and federal agents in Chihuahua.

The shooting ended another bloody week for the state. On Wednesday of last week, eight patients were shot dead and six injured at a drug and alcohol rehab center in Juarez, taking the week’s death toll to 40, according to the BBC. Add the Saturday shooting, and that number rises to 53.

Since the start of the year, Chihuahua has accounted for more than 800 killings, according to the federal attorney general’s office.

And the Dallas Morning News reports this morning that, ‘Chihuahua and Nuevo León states, both near Texas, are pioneering open trials to try to bring transparency and accountability to the legal process and to end a tradition of corruption, shoddy investigations, coerced testimony -– and an extremely low conviction rate.’

It’s no coincidence that Chihuahua is at the center of spiraling drug violence and the scene of hundreds of grisly slayings of women dating to the early 1990s, almost all of which remain unsolved. Making the justice system more effective is seen as a key to restoring the rule of law.

La Plaza coverage of the drug trade across Latin America.


Mexico Under Siege Los Angeles Times coverage of Mexico’s drug violence and problems.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Calderon signed off on long-awaited reforms to Mexico’s justice system in June. Click here for the details.