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Activists See Irony in Calderon’s Speedy Response to American Killings

La Opinión, Posted: Mar 18, 2010

MEXICO CITY –- Mexican President Felipe Calderon arrived in Ciudad Juarez on Tuesday for a press conference following the murders last weekend of two Americans who had ties to the U.S. Consulate, reports Spanish-language daily La Opinion. His visit, however, raised the ire of some human rights activists in this border town who say the Calderon administration “came running” after the Americans were killed, yet has failed to react with the same urgency to the many murders and disappearances that have plagued Mexican residents in Juarez for years.

Human rights organizations in Juarez have become more vocal since 16 Mexican students were killed here at the end of January. The activists say that an ineffective legal system has allowed criminals in Juarez to operate with impunity. Nearly 500 execution-style murders have been carried out in Juarez this year alone, and there were 2,650 recorded killings in the city last year.

In his press conference, Calderon said the appetite for drugs in the United States along with the flow of weapons across the border are fueling the violence. He added that both the Mexican and U.S. governments need to do their part to fight criminals in their respective territories. The U.S. Consulate in Juarez confirmed that it will be resuming its work following a day of mourning for their fallen colleagues.

The Mexican-citizen husband of a consulate employee was shot and killed in his car while his children, 2, 4 and 7, sat in the back seat. In another shooting, a pregnant consulate employee and her husband were killed while their seven-month old daughter was in the back seat.

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