NYT - American and 3 Others Found Dead in Mexico
American and 3 Others Found Dead in Mexico
Published: May 20, 2008
ROSARITO, Mexico (Reuters) — Four people, including an American woman, were shot in the head, and their bodies were dumped in a part of northern Mexico known for drug smuggling, the Mexican police said Monday.
Police officers here in the beach town of Rosarito, across the border from San Diego, said they discovered the bodies of three men and a woman on Sunday in an abandoned car in a remote patch of scrubland near the Pacific coast.
The police had initially concluded that all four of the victims were United States citizens, but officials later said the men were probably Mexicans. The woman was identified by her passport.
Murders have increased drastically in Mexico this year, the bulk of them linked to a war between rival drug cartels and security forces that has killed some 1,300 people across the country since January. But the killings rarely involve victims from abroad.
“The bodies had been there for at least a week,” a police spokesman said. “They were spotted by local people out hunting.”
The area where the bodies were found is one of many along the border that gangs use to smuggle marijuana and cocaine into the United States.
In Chihuahua State, which borders Texas, gunmen killed Officer José Martínez, the head of criminal investigations for the southern half of the state, as he left his home in the city of Parral on Monday morning, the state attorney general’s office said.
President Felipe Calderón, who sent thousands of troops and federal police officers to battle drug cartels when he took power in December 2006, said the violence was reason to press on.
“It’s a serious fight,” he said at a news conference. “It’s a war, and it means assuming the consequences.”
He continued: “There is no way the Mexican government will give up this fight. Our pledge and decision is to carry on until we rescue Mexico fully from a situation of abuse and crime.”
Drug violence killed more than 2,500 people in Mexico last year. Half a dozen high-ranking police officers have been killed this month alone.