19 fatally shot in Mexico drug rehab clinic
Cartels target centers to discourage treatment
Gunmen stormed a drug rehabilitation center in Chihuahua, killing 19 men and wounding several others.
The killings occurred around 11 p.m. at the Faith and Life rehab facility in the city of Chihuahua, located in the border state with the same name.
The men at the center were roused out of bed shortly before 11 p.m. and placed face-down along a hallway, the center's director, Cristian Rey Ramirez, told The Associated Press.
Ramirez was alerted to the attack by a telephone call from the center's pastor.
"He tells me, 'You know what, come here because they just killed everyone,'" Rey said. "There was no warning."
More than 60 people have been killed at rehab centers in the past two years.
Reports The New York Times:
Sadly, it was not the first such attack. The night before, one man was killed and another wounded at a rehabilitation center in Ciudad Juárez, a troubled border city in Chihuahua state. Last September, at another Juárez rehab center within sight of the United States-Mexican border, 17 young men were killed by multiple gunmen, who managed to escape into the night.
The police have attributed those attacks and others to rival drug gangs seeking to wipe out opponents undergoing treatment for addictions. Patients are usually locked inside the centers to keep them away from the streets, making them particularly vulnerable in attacks.
The killers left behind a statement of their own. “This is what happens to pigs, rats, killers, kidnappers, rapists,” it said.