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  HOME | Mexico

Baby Survives Hit on Parents in Mexican Border City

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – A 2-year-old baby survived an attack by gunmen that killed his parents in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, prosecutors said.

The child’s parents, who have not been identified, were attacked Wednesday while driving in the Horizontes del Sur neighborhood, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.

The baby’s father was found dead outside the vehicle, while his mother’s body was inside the automobile, AG’s office spokesmen told Efe.

The baby, whose head was splattered by his parents’ blood, was removed from the vehicle by Red Cross workers and taken to a shelter.

Investigators found seven bullet casings from 9 mm weapons at the crime scene, the AG’s office said.

A similar incident occurred in Juarez in March.

U.S. consular official Lesley Ann Enriquez and her husband, Arthur H. Redelfs, a detention officer at the El Paso County Jail, were killed on March 13 by gunmen who fired on their vehicle on a busy street in Juarez, considered the murder capital of Mexico.

The couple’s baby, riding in the back seat, was not harmed.

More than a dozen people were killed in gangland violence in Chihuahua in the past two days, including two people killed inside a hospital in Ciudad Juarez, prosecutors said.

The bodies of five men were found at a ranch near the city of Villa Ahumada, located about 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Ciudad Juarez.

An anonymous caller told police that the bodies were at the La Capilla ranch, prosecutors said.

Four bullet-riddled bodies were left hanging on a fence at a ranch at kilometer 77 of the highway that links Chihuahua city, the state capital, to the southern city of Cuauhtemoc.

The victims, who were clearly visible to passing traffic, had been tied up.

Two of the victims were also blindfolded, the AG’s office said.

Gunmen in Ciudad Juarez, meanwhile, killed two men, one of whom had a gunshot wound, inside the Mexican Social Security Institute’s Clinic No. 66.

At least four other men were killed in Chihuahua state.

The body of a man who appeared to be in his mid-40s was found in a street in Chihuahua city’s southern Rancheria neighborhood.

The body of a man was found inside an automobile parked at a shopping center in the southern section of Juarez.

The decapitated body of a man who reportedly belonged to the Federal Police was found Wednesday in Juarez, but officials did not say whether he was a law enforcement agent.

The other victim was apparently the nephew of former National Action Party leader and Christian Democratic Organization of the Americas head Manuel Espino.

Espino said in a posting on Twitter that one of his nephews had been killed in Ciudad Juarez, but he did not provide any additional details.

More than 1,750 gangland killings, according to press tallies, have occurred in Juarez this year.

Ciudad Juarez, located across the border from El Paso, Texas, is the scene of a war for control of smuggling routes between the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels.

The border city, where nearly 6,000 people have been murdered since 2008, has been plagued by drug-related violence for years.

The murder rate took off in the border city of 1.5 million people in 2007, when 310 people were killed, then it more than tripled to 1,607 in 2008, according to state AG’s office figures, with the number of killings climbing to 2,635 last year.

Ciudad Juarez, with 191 homicides per 100,000 residents, was the most violent city in the world in 2009, registering a higher murder rate than San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Caracas and Guatemala, two Mexican non-governmental organizations said in a report released earlier this year.

About 28,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon declared war on Mexico’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.

More than 7,000 gangland killings have occurred so far this year in Mexico, Attorney General Arturo Chavez Chavez said last month.

The death toll for all of 2009 was 7,724. EFE

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