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article imageFour Juárez, Mexico police officers killed in ambush

By Lynn Herrmann     Dec 5, 2010 in Crime
Four police officers, responding to an emergency call, were shot and killed in an ambush in Juárez on Saturday, adding to a mounting toll in the death-weary border city.
After responding to the emergency call in a patrol car, the officers were surrounded by gunmen in three vehicles who then rounded the officers up and opened fire. Authorities later found 64 shells from an AK-47 rifle at the crime scene, the El Paso Times reports.
The slain officers were identified as Martha Hernández Veina, 32; Román Hernandez Montes, 27, Andrés Gutiérrez Lucero, 33; and Eloy Guadalupe Gutiérrez Mejía, 38.
Gutiérrez Mejía joined the police department almost 10 years ago. Hernandez Montes had been with the city police department since May 2007, while Hernanández Veina and Gutiérrez Lucero joined the force last year.
At a public event in south Juárez later on Saturday, Juárez Mayor Héctor Murguía condemned the killings, noting that while the department may have some bad officers, there are good ones determined to provide the crime-riddled community a sense of security.
“We have to recognize that some agencies, especially the good officers, work with courage,” Murguía said.
The mayor said the Mexican army, state and federal police, and municipal police departments are continuing to battle the country’s powerful organized crime forces.
Juárez is considered one of the world’s deadliest cities, with an epidemic of murders, kidnappings and extortions tearing apart the violence-torn city. The city has had about 2,800 murders this year, twice as many as Houston, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles combined.
At issue is a turf war that erupted in 2008 between the Sinaloa and Juárez drug cartels. Since then, more than 7,000 people have experienced violent deaths in the city.
Many families who once flocked to the border for factory jobs are now fleeing back to their native communities. The Veracruz state government has helped subsidize a mass exodus from Juárez, paying for seven charter flights this year alone that have transported 1,600 people from the border town back to the port of Veracruz.
Since being sworn in as mayor of Juárez in October, at least 20 municipal police officers have been killed. This year alone, more than 50 city police officers have been killed in the city.
More about Juarez, Police officers, Drug cartel
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