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Mexico casino attack : Death toll up to 53

53 people dead in fire: Victims of drug war & violence in Mexico
53 people dead in fire: Victims of drug war & violence in Mexico

The death toll raises as workers continue to pull bodies after bodies out of a casino in northern Mexico, where a half dozen gunned attackers started a fire that trapped and killed at least 53.

Family members of the victims and survivors gathered outside the Casino Royale after the fire in the northern industrial capital Monterrey, some crying and others yelling at police for providing no information. Later they were allowed to view bodies in the morgue to help identify the victims.

Nuevo León Government Rodrigo Medina confirmed this morning that the death toll in the attack had reached 53. The casino fire in this prosperous city of Mexico is  the worst case of drug cartel-related violence and it represented one of the deadliest attacks after the carnage on an entertainment centre in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against drug cartels in late 2006. Monterrey is the capital of Nuevo León state.

53 people dead in fire: Victims of drug war & violence in Mexico

Gov Calderon tweeted that the attack was “an abhorrent act of terror and barbarism” that requires “all of us to persevere in the fight against these unscrupulous criminal bands, who are committing terrorism. The mention of “terror” has been a controversial one in Mexico’s drug wars, where Mexican officials have argued hard against terminology suggesting an insurgency. In 2008, many feared that drug traffickers would resort to conventional terrorist methods after grenades were thrown into a crowd gathered for Mexican Independence Day, killing eight and wounding 131. Since then, however, Mexico drug cartels have refrain from large-scale attacks on the public.

Drug cartels battleground Monterrey, Mexico

Attorney General Leon Adrian de la Garza states a drug cartel operating in the vast areas in Northern Mexico was apparently responsible for the attac. Drug  cartels, a brutal reality in Mexico, often extort casinos, force the owners to pay them, threatening to attack them if they refuse to pay. Until recently, Monterrey was one of the safest cities in Latin America. But since last year, the city has become a battleground for two of Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking organizations, the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, who are fighting for seizing the control of lucrative local drug markets and significant border drug routes to the U.S.

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One Comment

  1. Mexico’s gruesome civil war is clearly a product of the failed policy of Prohibition.

    Alcohol prohibition, was a tremendous failure due to the incredible amount of crime and disorder it created. Human nature hasn’t changed since the 1920s and early 30s. Then, the distribution of liquor was turned over to a whole new group of criminal entrepreneurs. Now, due to the drug war, dangerous mind altering substances are sold, unregulated, by another new criminal class. Prohibition has turned Mexico into a civil war zone, so our intentions in prohibiting these substances may well be good, but the result of our inability to recognize the futility of such an action will both deepen and prolong the agony caused by this useless and dangerous policy.

    The future depends on whether or not enough of us are willing to take a long look at the tragic results of prohibition. If we continue to skirt the primary issue while refusing to address the root problem, then we can expect no other result than a worsening of the current dire situation. Good intentions are no match for the immutable realities of human nature.

    So may we have some realism from all of you now, on how to go about reclaiming our streets and stopping this mayhem? Please start making an honest effort to address the root cause of the present horrific mess and the high proliferation of “well funded” violent Cartels –the failed regime of drug prohibition.

    Total Body Count: 42,000

    Body Count for 2010: 15,273

    Body Count for 2009: 9,600

    Body Count for 2008: 5,400

    Body Count for 2007: 4,300

    * So why not call it by it’s correct name? What’s happening in Mexico is clearly ‘Prohibition engendered violence’ By refusing to acknowledge this fact we all help to perpetuated it.

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