During an attack on a drug rehabilitation center in the northern Mexican city of Chihuahua 16 people were killed and many more wounded. Witnesses to the shooting claim that the attackers were dressed in military-style clothes and carried assault rifles. They broke into the Familias Unidas center at around 9pm local time and shot all those inside.
Police, along with military personnel, investigating the case have declared there is no motive for the attack just yet. Roadblocks were quickly setup to locate any possible suspects trying to get out of the area.
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In Mexico, drug rehabilitation centers are a popular target for cartel attacks.
Often gangs will target these clinics as they know members from rival gangs are either revalidating insider or are trying to recruit smugglers.
Mass shootings like these are all too familiar in Mexico unfortunately. Back in 2012, in the northern state of Coahuila, 11 people were shot in a same manner in another drug rehabilitation center.
In 2010, 13 people were shot in the city of Tijuana in a similar fashion.
The state of Chihuahua, where the latest attack took place, has seen a rise of violent murders in these past few months as there is a fight for control ongoing between the Juárez and the Sinaloa cartels.
The US intelligence services currently consider the Sinaloa cartel as ‘the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world’. According to court figures, the cartel is responsible for importing nearly 200 tons of cocaine and heroin into the US on a yearly basis.
Meanwhile the Juarez cartel used to control most of the drug trafficking in Mexico but because of the death of one of their leaders in 1997, Mr Amado Carrillo Fuentes, it’s influence has declined, as this meant that they couldn’t rely on their government ties anymore.