Three People Connected to U.S. Consulate Murdered in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; 65 Killed in Wave of Suspected Drug War Violence

March 15, 2010 12:18 am 2 comments
Image by U.S. Congress, Committee on Foreign Relations, 2007.

Image by U.S. Congress, Committee on Foreign Relations, 2007.

Today in Latin America

Top Story –  Assassins killed three people with ties to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez this weekend. A Consulate worker and her husband were shot to death in their car, and the third victim was the husband of a Consulate employee. Authorities suspect the killers belong to Mexico’s drug cartels.

The murders marked a turning point in Mexico’s drug war, with alleged drug traffickers now targeting people with direct ties to the U.S. government, according to The New York Times. Prior to the killings, escalating violence and threats prompted the State Department to initiate arrangements to evacuate consulate workers’ families from the country and restrict diplomats’ ability to travel within northern Mexico.

The State Department issued a Travel Warning for Mexico on Sunday in response to the attacks.

“I have spoken with our Ambassador in Mexico and we are working with the Government of Mexico to do everything necessary to protect our people and to ensure that the perpetrators of these horrendous acts are brought to justice,” Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said in a statement.

The FBI is participating in the investigation, reports The New York Times.

The murders of people with ties to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez were part of a wave of violence that left 65 people dead in Mexico this weekend, according to Colombian daily El Tiempo. The state of Guerrero saw 45 murders, including 31 in the tourist city of Acapulco.

Roughly 18,000 people have been killed in Mexico’s drug war since 2006, according to The BBC.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


  • Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés told Spanish daily El Mundo that Castro should be criticized if dissident Guillermo Fariñas dies from his hunger strike to free political prisoners, saying that “ideas are discussed and combated, not imprisoned.”
  • U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called upon the international community to continue donating to the relief effort in Haiti after visiting the country this weekend.

Central America


  • Film star Meryl Streep presented a leadership award to former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt Saturday at the United Nations.
  • Colombian police found 35 pounds of cocaine mixed into replicas of three sculptures by artist Fernando Botero being shipped to Spain.
  • Police in Portugal arrested an alleged member of the Basque separatist group ETA as he attempted to board a flight to Venezuela.
  • Ecuador plans to appeal a ruling made last week by a United States District Judge who declined to stay international arbitration in the dispute between Ecuador and the Chevron Corp.
  • Peru plans to create a tsunami-warning system to help protect its residents who live along the country’s Pacific coast.
  • Bolivia dropped its bid to host the Miss Universe pageant, citing the the high costs of hosting the event.

Southern Cone

  • Brazilian President Lula da Silva arrived in Jerusalem Sunday to begin his tour of the Middle East. After meeting with Israeli leaders, President da Silva plans to visit the West Bank on Tuesday to meet with Palestinian leaders before traveling to Jordan.
  • Chilean President Sebastian Piñera announced a 60-day earthquake recovery plan to restore Chile’s roadways, education and healthcare systems while on a two-day visit to the Maule and Bio Bio regions.
  • The Argentine government announced a plan to restructure its $20 billion debt by the end of March.
  • Uruguayan Defense Minister Luis Rosadilla will arrive in Washington D.C. on Monday to attend an OSA anti-terrorism meeting.
  • Paraguayan soccer star Salvador Cabañas made his first public appearance Friday night in Mexico City since being shot in the head on January 25.

Subscribe to Today in Latin America by Email

This post has been corrected. An earlier version incorrectly stated that Guillermo Fariñas was in prison.


  • Guillermo Fariñas is not jailed. He is staging a hunger strike as an act of political protest. The government of Cuba has no control over or responsibility for his actions until he becomes unconscious. At that point the government can intervene to try to save his life.

Leave a Reply

Other News

  • Guatemala Photo Essays Oxlajuj Baktun: Maya Era Ends, As Longstanding Tensions Remain

    Oxlajuj Baktun: Maya Era Ends, As Longstanding Tensions Remain

    HUEHUETENANGO, Guatemala – Events here during the much-awaited end of the Oxlajuj Baktun, a 5,129-year period in the long Mayan calendar, provide a clear reflection of the divisions and challenges faced by Mayan communities today. The media exploited inaccurate apocalyptic rumors the Maya never predicted, the government and business sectors viewed it as an opportunity to gain economically through tourism, and progressive groups like the Consejo del Pueblo Maya del Occidente seized the opportunity “to strengthen ancestral wisdom and never-ending search [...]

    Read more →
  • Dispatches Mexico Mexico Protests: Rumors Of Deaths During Anti-Peña Nieto Demonstrations Stir Social Media

    Mexico Protests: Rumors Of Deaths During Anti-Peña Nieto Demonstrations Stir Social Media

    NEW YORK — Social media buzzed this weekend with unconfirmed rumors that several protesters had died in confrontations with police during the inauguration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Thousands took the streets to protest the return of the Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party to power, which was ousted from the presidency in 2000 after governing continuously seven decades. Some 105 protesters were left injured, with 29 requiring medical attention. Protesters hurled Molotov cocktails, threw stones, and there were reports of a [...]

    Read more →
  • Brazil Today in Latin America Brazil Supreme Court Appoints First Black President

    Brazil Supreme Court Appoints First Black President

    Top Story — The Brazilian Supreme Court appointed the first black presiding judge, Joaquim Barbosa, on Wednesday. Judge Joaquim Barbosa, 58, was appointed by ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2003 and became the first black judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court. More recently, he has been known for overseeing the “Mensalão,” or “big monthly allowance” case, which convicted senior members of ex-President Lula’s administration for corruption. Barbosa will take his post once the “Mensalão” trial ends. [...]

    Read more →
  • Dispatches Mexico Photo Essays United States Caravan For Peace ‘Plants Seeds’ In New York City

    Caravan For Peace ‘Plants Seeds’ In New York City

    NEW YORK – On the night of Sept. 6, a procession of a few hundred people crossed Harlem from east to west before gathering in front of Santa Celicia Parish in the heart of El Barrio, illuminating the steps of the church with hundreds of tiny candles and filling the sidewalk with images of friends and family members lost to the drug war. There, they began to read from a list of dead and disappeared. “Regina Martines,” someone called. “¡Presente!” the crowd responded. [...]

    Read more →
  • Mexico Today in Latin America Zetas Leader Body Stolen From Funeral Home, Mexico says.

    Zetas Leader Body Stolen From Funeral Home, Mexico says.

    Top Story — The body of Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano, alias “The Executioner,” was stolen out of the funeral home where it was being kept by armed men, Mexican authorities said on Tuesday. Lazcano was allegedly killed on Sunday afternoon and his identity was confirmed on Tuesday by the Mexican Navy. However, the military seems to have been unaware that they had killed Lazcano until after his body was snatched. Lazcano, for whom there was a $5 million U.S. bounty, [...]

    Read more →
  • Mexico Today in Latin America Mexico Arrests Alleged Zetas Leader Suspected Of Migrant Massacre

    Mexico Arrests Alleged Zetas Leader Suspected Of Migrant Massacre

    Top Story — The Mexican Navy captured alleged Zetas cartel chief, Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo, suspected of some of the country’s most well known crimes. Martinez Escobedo was arrested on Saturday and is thought have led the massacre of 72 migrants in Tamaulipas among numerous other crimes, authorities said on Monday. He is also linked to the breaking of 151 prisoners out of jail and the killing of a U.S citizen in 2010, the jailbreak was the largest in recent Mexican [...]

    Read more →
  • Mexico News Briefs Guatemala Implements Police Reform Aimed At Reviewing 20,000 Officers

    Guatemala Implements Police Reform Aimed At Reviewing 20,000 Officers

    Guatemala will implement a program to root out corruption in the police and military, according to Mexican daily El Informador. The wide-reaching anti-corruption program marks an effort by the administration of President Otto Pérez Molina to crack down on the drug traffickers that have infiltrated Guatemala’s often poorly paid security forces — particularly Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel. Some 20,000 police officers will face reviews during the first phase of the program. Two-hundred of them have already begun the process, according [...]

    Read more →
  • Today in Latin America Venezuela Hugo Chavez Wins Venezuela Elections

    Hugo Chavez Wins Venezuela Elections

    Top Story —  Hugo Chávez won the presidential election on Sunday, defeating his opponent Henrique Capriles by over 1 million votes, with 54% of the vote. This will be Chávez’s third re-election after almost 14 years in office. The elections saw a high turnout and voting was extended past the closing time of polling stations.  The electoral council president said that stations where voters hadn’t been able to cast their ballots would remain open. Read more at Aljazeera. Headlines from the Western Hemisphere [...]

    Read more →
  • Honduras News Briefs 2 Honduras Officials Receive Death Threats

    2 Honduras Officials Receive Death Threats

    Two officials in Honduras viewed as sympathizers with the county’s political left have received death threats, the local press reports. The news of the death threats against National Agrarian Institute Director César Ham and Secretary of Justice and Human Rights Ana Pineda raises questions about security in one of the region’s most violent countries, after a string of attacks against journalists and political activists preceded by threats that were disregarded. Ham told Honduras’ El Heraldo that President Porfirio Lobo himself [...]

    Read more →
  • Mexico Today in Latin America U.S. Embassy Car Was Targeted In Mexico Attack

    U.S. Embassy Car Was Targeted In Mexico Attack

    Top Story – New evidence suggests that the Mexican police officers who shot at a U.S. Embassy vehicle on Aug. 24 near Cuernavaca, wounding two CIA officers, were working for organized crime, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday. Mexican officials have confirmed that they are investigating the involvement of the Beltran Leyva Cartel in the attack. Contradicting the Mexican federal police’s claims that the shooting was a mistake, a U.S. official told the Associated Press that the attack was an ambush planned [...]

    Read more →