Mexican President Vicente Fox criticized officials in the state of Chihuahua on Saturday for not solving a string of brutal rapes and slayings of women in the border city of Ciudad Juarez.
Speaking at an event marking International Women's Day, Fox said investigators in Chihuahua, where Juarez is located, have not focused on solving the killings.
"The killings of women in Ciudad Juarez are acts of violence that are unpardonable," Fox said. "They are acts of barbarism that deserve our anger and our attention."
At least 278 women have been slain in Ciudad Juarez over the last decade. Although the majority of the cases are believed to be unrelated, as many as 90 of the women were sexually assaulted and are believed to have been victims of serial killers. Last month, police discovered the bodies of three young women in the desert near the city of nearly 2 million across the border from El Paso. A 6-year-old girl also was found dead in the city last month.
Several times over the last two years, Fox has offered the federal government's help in solving the slayings. "We demand that the government ... move this investigation forward and severely punish the perpetrators," he said.