53 slain in 72 hours in Juárez

Posted: March 7, 2011 in World News

Aileen B. Flores
El Paso Times
March 7, 2011

In one of the deadliest three days that officials can remember, more than 50 people were killed in Juárez.

Among the 53 victims between Thursday and Saturday were a Juárez police officer, a municipal patrolman and a state investigator.

According to Chihuahua state officials it was the most violent three-day period seen this year. State police reported that on average eight people are killed in Juárez every day.

More than 150 people have been killed in Juárez this month, according to the state police.

Since a war broke out between the Juárez and Sinaloa drug cartels in 2008, more than 7,600 people have been killed in Juárez. Last year, 3,112 people were murdered in Juárez.

The violence began to pick up Thursday with 14 slayings, including a municipal police officer and an investigator with the state police.

A shootout between police and hit men Thursday morning left a police officer and two alleged hit men dead. Two other police officers and two suspects were wounded during the attack that occurred at the Arroyo Sur and Moro Macho streets in the Las Lilas subdivision.

Chihuahua police identified the officer as Ricardo Torillo Sandoval, who had worked for the Juárez police department since 1998.

Later that day, state police investigator Jesús Manuel Cruz Landin, 28, was shot and killed on his way home in the Lázaro Cárdenas neighborhood.

Police arrested Jesús Agatón Juárez, 18, in connection with the homicide. Police said Agatón Juárez was in possession of the investigator’s handgun at the time of his arrest Thursday night.

Friday was the bloodiest day, with 20 homicides, including a violent attack where a couple was shot to death with AK-47 rifles at a home in the Papalote neighborhood.

On Saturday, Benjamín Núñez Núñez, a municipal patrolman, was shot and killed by a driver at a traffic stop on Oscar Flores Boulevard and Sierra Madre Sur street. Four men were killed at a party in the La Cuesta neighborhood Saturday. Chihuahua police officials said a total of 19 people were killed in Juárez that day.

Despite the continuous violence and attacks against officers, Juárez Mayor Héctor Murguía announced Saturday that the police will keep fighting crime.

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