06/05/12 – In line with previous attacks against drug rehabilitation centers in Mexico over the past few years, on Monday, June 4, 11 patients were killed after gunmen entered the “Life on the Rocks” rehab center (Centro de Rehabilitación Tu Vida Sobre La Roca A.C.) in Torreón, Coahuila. An additional eight people were significantly injured in the incident, yet remain in stable condition. Eyewitnesses believe others were injured in the attack, but fled the scene before police arrived. As reported by La Jornada, official sources have identified ten of the 11 victims, who range in age from 18 to 57 years old. Police are still attempting to identify the last body, as well as investigate who is behind the attack.
A similar incident occurred in Torreón in June of 2011 when a drug and alcohol rehab center was attacked, leaving 13 killed. Rehab centers appear to be a target of attacks by drug cartels due to fear that rehabilitated addicts will become key sources of information for police in the on-going struggle to consolidate rule of law and strengthen public security in Mexico. Additionally, these attacks serve as a way to eliminate members of rival gangs. Over the last three years, similar attacks have occurred in places like Cuidad Juárez in Chihuahua where 19 were killed, Gómez Palacio in Durango where nine were killed, and Tijuana in Baja California where 13 were killed. As reported by TBI in 2009, Mexico has experienced an increased rate of domestic drug use as border controls have tightened, due in part to the increased supply of inexpensive narcotics. In conjunction, drug clinics have rapidly expanded to treat the growing pool of addicts.