TOPICS > Politics

Attacks Escalate in Mexico’s Drug War

October 28, 2010 at 6:09 PM EDT

MARGARET WARNER: It has been a week of extraordinary violence in ordinary places, from Tepic on Mexico’s Pacific coast, to Tijuana on the California border, to Juarez, across the Rio Grande from Texas.

More than 40 people have been murdered in large-scale, multi-victim attacks. It’s the latest grisly spasm of a four-year drug war that’s killed more than 26,000 people.

The chilling chronology: last Friday night, 14 people, including women and children, gunned down at a birthday party in Juarez in Chihuahua state.

The state’s attorney general was stunned.

CARLOS SALAS, Attorney General, Chihuahua, Mexico (through translator): How is it possible that six women have died, when all they were doing was getting together with friends to have a good time?

MARGARET WARNER: Sunday night, 13 patients at a drug rehab clinic in Tijuana mowed down in a hail of bullets. Then, yesterday, 15 people machine-gunned at a car wash in Tepic in the state of Nayarit.

President Felipe Calderon remembered the dead yesterday in what’s become a frequent occurrence for the Mexican leader.

FELIPE CALDERON, Mexican President (through translator): We send our sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of those who lost their lives in recent days and hours.

MARGARET WARNER: Meanwhile, attacks on law enforcement continued. The police station in Los Ramones, near the northeastern city of Monterrey, was shredded Monday in a 15-minute barrage of machine-gun fire. No officers were killed, but the entire police force quit the next day.