No one in Iowa I've spoken to yet knows there's a U.S. advisory against travel in Mexico. Perhaps that's NAFTA posturing--
U.S.: "Shape up, Mexico."
MX: "Yeah, we've got it under control. We've sent federal troops to the border cities."
Nevertheless, the "single most deadly violent incident in Juárez in recent times" occurred Aug. 13 when masked and hooded gunmen let loose with 15 solid minutes of high calibre gunfire to mow down a worship service for recovering addicts at the CIAD drug rehab center. Whether you're a church-goer or not, if you're a human being you'll want to know this story : 15 Minutes of Hell in a Juarez Prayer Assembly.
We're all busy and don't have time to follow all these links, so here's one detail:
When the shooting stopped, bodies lay all over the room. The director of the center ... lay with his body over another pastor’s wife. She and her unborn child survived. The man died. Joel Valles, 47, a deacon of the church, was also killed in the attack. Other witnesses reported that before commencing to shoot everyone in the room, the assassins dragged several people out to the patio, threw them face down and shot them at point blank range.
So the next question is: Why? What does the reporter say about that?
No one knows why the centers were targeted. “All we do is detox, counseling, we try to get people jobs.” Again, I quote the article by reporter Molly Molloy:
What is going on in Juárez? “Something evil. Something very very evil.”
And I go away thinking of recent mass murders in my country and of all the cop and crime scene shows so popular on TV. And I realize that less than 48 hours after this horrific crime, no evidence remains at all. No investigation will ever take place. Not one shred of crime scene tape can be seen. The blood is mostly washed away. The bodies are buried. The family next door saw the killers drive away up the street toward the main avenue that leads to the cement plant. The soldiers sped away to their barracks about a mile to the south.
[B.E. interrupts story: Note the role of the soldiers (we read about them above) sent by the feds to save the day! An eyewitness states: "We are sure that the soldiers were guarding the killers or maybe they came with them so that the police would not be able to intervene. They had to have known what was going on because they passed right in front of the center.” The witness, quoted in the newspaper, asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals.] Now back to M.Molloy:
The newspapers print verbatim the communiqués from the state investigators: 61 ballistic elements of various calibers secured at the scene, 9 mm, 7.62 x 39, .223 and 40 mm. The names of the dead and injured appear in neat lists. The numbers never quite match up. And there will be no arrests.
When I tell this story to friends, they ask why? Some say it is like El Salvador in the 1980s, except that there is no Cold War, no ideology that can explain it. U.S. press accounts say it is a drug cartel war, but nothing about the sad faces of the CIAD workers or the defeated families of the dead in this poor barrio can be connected to these cartels generating billions with their commerce. The newspapers, the politicians, the academics never say what the victims know: something evil, something very very evil...
And in Colonia First of September in Juárez, families hold funerals for the drug addicts, workers and church people killed at CIAD #8. The rehab workers head back to their headquarters in Sonora where they hope they will be safe. Blankets [which covered the dead] are dumped, perhaps to be burned but more likely to be reclaimed, washed and used again.
upper photo caption: Conference room, CIAD #8, four or five people were shot to death in this corner when killers burst into a prayer meeting on the evening of Aug. 13.
lower photo caption: The CIAD secretary fled down this passage during the shooting on Aug. 13; AK-47 bullet holes through window frame. He made it up the ladder to the roof but was shot in the back. He survives in critical condition.