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Mexican officials say 10 people fatally shot at baseball party

September 23, 2013|By Tracy Wilkinson
  • Crime scene investigators work in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, at the site where several people, including a young girl, where killed during a party celebrating a baseball victory.
Crime scene investigators work in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, at the site where… (Alejandro Bringas / European…)

MEXICO CITY -- In a throwback to the violence that long haunted Mexico’s border with the United States, 10 people, including a young girl, were shot to death as they celebrated a baseball game victory near Ciudad Juarez, authorities said Monday.

At least one gunman and possibly more burst into the party Sunday evening and opened fire with assault rifles on about 30 people who were marking the tournament win of the Cardinals baseball team, the regional prosecutor’s office said.

Prosecutors said they did not know the motive behind the massacre. But it bore grim resemblance to the 2010 killing of 15 mostly young people at a soccer party, the kind of violence once commonplace along the border.

In that event, one of the drug gangs operating in Ciudad Juarez mistook the celebrants for a rival cartel. It was a time when traffickers were fighting for control of Juarez and its lucrative smuggling passageways to the U.S., turning the border city into the deadliest in the Americas.

The killings subsided significantly last year, after the Sinaloa cartel and its allies prevailed over other gangs. Although homicides are down, other cartel-related crimes, including kidnapping and extortion, continue largely unabated.

Sunday’s slaughter, however, revived dark memories.

Bodies lay strewn outside the modest house in the Juarez suburb of Loma Blanca, suggesting some had tried to flee when the shooting started. Survivors identified the victims as a 7-year-old girl, her mother and at least one 15-year-old boy. Several seemed to be from the same family, gathered to celebrate a rare baseball victory.

“They never won, never, and then suddenly yesterday they win, 19-3, and look how this all ended up,” the sister of the slain 15-year-old, Luis Alonso Frayre Alarcon, told El Diario newspaper.

Alberto Carrillo Fuentes, named by Mexican authorities as a leader of the Juarez cartel, was captured late last month. Known by the alias “Ugly Betty,” Carrillo Fuentes was remanded to prison on weapons charges and had been considered the head of an effort to revive the cartel after its recent losses.

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wilkinson@latimes.com

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