Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just over the border – six police officers killed in one week

Let’s imagine six police officers were killed in one week in Winsor, Canada, across a bridge from Detroit, Michigan. Would the U.S. be concerned? You bet.

Six police officers were killed last week and 40 so far this year, in Juarez, Mexico, across a bridge from El Paso, Texas. A hit list naming 26 officers was found days earlier
Roberto Ramirez, who headed a precinct, was the sixth Juarez officer killed in a week. He was abducted, and his body was found hours later, near a dog racetrack where the bodies of four civilians were found earlier in the week. Ramirez was named precinct chief in May after several police commanders asked for early retirement because of the violence.

More than 40 Juarez police have been killed this year, many in attacks blamed on drug gangs battling over territory. Some officers have quit, fearing for their lives after their names appeared on hit lists.

Juarez has been hit the hardest in a surge of drug-gang homicides sweeping Mexico. More than 1,300 people have been killed in the city of 1.3 million this year.

Across Mexico, more than 5,300 people have died in gangland-style killings in 2008 - more than double the number last year.

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