Mexican gunmen remove wounded man from ambulance, kill him

February 11th, 2009 - 12:59 pm ICT by IANS  

The killing occurred Monday night as the Red Cross ambulance was taking the wounded man from the Juarez suburb of Guadalupe to a clinic in the city, which lies across the border from El Paso, Texas, EFE reported.

The gunmen forced the unidentified victim to get out of the ambulance and then shot him on the side of the road.

Red Cross paramedics said after the shooting that they had decided to take strict precautions whenever treating anyone wounded in what appears to be a gangland incident.

Ciudad Juarez was the scene of several other killings Monday.

Gunmen murdered the owner of a seafood restaurant and wounded his wife and teenage son as customers sat around eating dinner.

Mario Marquez was gunned down at his restaurant in the southern section of Ciudad Juarez, officials said, adding that the motive for the killing had not been determined.

In the nearby city of Praxedis G. Guerrero, a man was killed and another wounded in front of a grocery store.

Over the weekend, eight people were killed in Juarez, including three men in their 20s who were gunned down early Sunday outside the Bandoleros nightclub, where 26 bullet casings were found.

The number of murders in Ciudad Juarez nearly tripled last month, compared to January 2008, Mexican media reported.

Last month, 148 people were murdered in Juarez, which became infamous for the murders and disappearances of more than 400 women since 1993, up sharply from the 55 killings registered in January 2008.

In 2008, Juarez lived through days when dozens of people were murdered in the span of a few hours, and armed groups committed acts of violence in public areas that terrorised residents.

Armed groups linked to Mexico’s drug cartels murdered around 2,700 people in 2007 and 1,500 in 2006, with the 2008 death toll soaring to 5,630, according to a tally by the Mexico City daily El Universal.

Experts say that Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking organisations are the Tijuana cartel, which is run by the Arellano Felix brothers, the Gulf cartel and the Sinaloa cartel. Two other large drug trafficking organizations, the Juarez and Milenio cartels, also operate in the country.

Since taking office in December 2006, President Felipe Calderon has deployed more than 30,000 soldiers and federal police to nearly a dozen of Mexico’s 31 states in a bid to stem the wave of violence unleashed by drug traffickers.

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