Mexico drug war claims 11

January 15, 2009 12:00 am

, CIUDAD JUAREZ, Jan 15 – Eleven men, including a university student athlete, have been killed since Tuesday in the last drug-related violence to hit near the US border in northern Mexico, officials said.

The student’s body was found in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s notorious murder capital, hours after he was kidnapped by gunmen disguised as soldiers, police said.

A local butcher, who in November survived an attack in an auto repair shop that killed six other people, was shot to death.

Four other men were killed in broad daylight on the streets of Ciudad Juarez, and three more bodies were found in the city since late Tuesday, police added.

Two separate murders took place in eastern Chihuahua State, where rival drug gangs have been fighting turf wars that defy government efforts to bring them to a stop.

The Mexican government has deployed more than 36,000 troops across the country as part of a clampdown on drug trafficking and related violence launched in early 2006.

Despite some high-profile arrests of cartel leaders and corrupt officials, more than 5,300 people died in drug-related attacks in 2008, over double the previous year, according to official figures.

Mexico has overtaken Colombia and Iraq in the number of kidnappings, with more than 1,000 officially reported in 2008. Human rights groups believe unreported kidnappings push the figure closer to 3,000.


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