At approximately 1:15 am on Sunday morning, several gunmen killed 17 people and wounded at least 10 others at a party in the city of Torreón, located in the northern Mexican border state of Coahuila. Authorities are currently investigating the attack, one of several acts of violence that have affected this city since the outbreak of hostilities between the drug trafficking organizations known as the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas.
The Federal Attorney General’s Office is currently investigating the crime, though early reports from authorities indicated that the killings took place at a birthday party hosted at a ranch known as the “Italia Inn,” located near the corner of Iglesia and Francisco Díaz in the San Luis neighborhood. Authorities also reportedly indicated that .223 and 7.62 caliber shell casings were found at the scene, suggesting the use of high-powered weapons such as those frequently used by drug trafficking organizations. Media reports indicated that, in addition to the 17 people killed, there were at least 10 and perhaps as many as 18 others injured in the attack.
Among the 17 people killed, the names of the following individuals were positively identified by authorities and reported in the local press:
* Diego Aguilar García (22)
* Juan Jesús García González (35)
* Enrique González Hernández (30)
* Sandra Liliana Mejía Sarmiento (20)
* María Fernanda Máynez San Juan (25)
* Jesús Silva Muñoz (27)
* Ricardo Reyes Encinas (38)
*Alejandro Rivas Ríos (33)
* Héctor Rivas Ríos (23)
* Emmanuel Alejandro Ruiz Orona (25)
These deaths followed an earlier massacre of 10 people at a bar in Torreón in late January, as reported in the Justice in Mexico monthly news report for February. This weekend’s killings in San Luis added to the more than 120 “narcoejecucciones,” or drug trafficking-related deaths, in Coahuila so far this year. As such, Coahuila has nearly reached the number of killings it saw in 2009 (151 total), and ranks among the dozen or so states that have experienced triple digit or higher numbers of drug trafficking related killings this year. However, Coahuila’s numbers are far lower than those seen in states like Chihuahua and Sinaloa, which have already surpassed over 1,500 and 1,000 killings respectively in 2010.