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In Wake of Consular Killings, Calderón and U.S. Ambassador Visit Ciudad Juarez
Mexican President Felipe Calderón traveled to Ciudad Juarez Tuesday to express his “strongest indignation” over the March 13 murder of three people leaving a children’s party in the violence-plagued border city. Gunmen thought to have links to the Los Aztecas gang killed a U.S. consular worker and her husband driving in one car, and a Mexican man married to another U.S. consular worker traveling in a separate vehicle. The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes there’s a chance the murders were a case of mistaken identity, but investigations continue.
U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual joined Calderón in Ciudad Juarez and clarified that Mexican authorities are leading the investigation in Mexico while working in coordination with American officials on the U.S. side of the border. He also said Washington will keep cooperating with the Mexican government “to break the power of narcotrafficking organizations and to put an end to the violence they cause.” Both the White House and the U.S. State Department released statements regarding shared responsibility in fighting drug and arms trafficking.
Calderón’s visit to the border town marked his third this year and comes as public support wanes for a three-year-old military push to combat drug cartels. The battle has left 18,000 people dead since the president took office in 2006. On Tuesday, he gave details about “We are all Juarez,” a series of social programs designed to give the city’s residents better educational and job opportunities. The project was first launched in the wake of a January massacre of over a dozen teenagers at a party in Ciudad Juarez.