Funeral Mass commemorates 16 slain in Juarez shooting

.- Families and friends came together for a communal funeral Mass in memory of the 16 teenagers killed last week during a party in Juarez, Mexico. According to a press release, “at least three teenagers” of the 16 who were gunned down were laid to rest in the municipal cemetery of St. Raphael after the ceremony.

On Saturday January 30, gunmen closed off a street in Juarez, Mexico with their SUVs and opened fire on a house full of teenagers who were celebrating a birthday. Authorities have not yet disclosed a motive for the crime, which is thought to be part of a trend of senseless violence related to drug trafficking.

Neighbors told the newspaper El Diario de Juarez, that seven SUV’s pulled up to the house just before midnight. Masked gunmen then stormed the party. Despite multiple calls to the police and emergency services, policemen and soldiers did not arrive until the shooting was over. Desperate families drove the injured to the hospital on their own instead of waiting for the ambulances to arrive.

Last Tuesday, the authorities in Juarez brought Oscar Arroyo before the media. Mr. Arroyo is suspected of having participated in the shooting. He reported that a drug cartel in Juarez paid him to watch the area while the hit men attacked the party.

The families of the victims have accused Mexican President Felipe Calderon with being complicit in the attack. They claim that the bloodbath would have been avoided if Calderon's numerous undercover operatives were actually working against the cartels.

Ever since President Calderon took power at the end of 2006, more than 17,000 people have died because of violence linked to drug trafficking in Mexico. The city of Juarez, where the shooting took place is seen as one of the most violent cities in the world. In 2009, 2,600 people were killed in violence related to drug-trafficking.


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