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Drug killings surge in Mexican city on U.S. border


11:14 a.m. October 21, 2005

MONTERREY, Mexico – Unidentified gunmen executed two men in Ciudad Juarez on the U.S. border in a resurgence of drug-related violence that killed a former Interpol chief and his lawyer this week, authorities said Friday.

Both men were shot in the back of the head late on Thursday as they sat in a car in the city, which lies south of the border from El Paso, Texas. One man died at the scene, the other shortly afterward in hospital, prosecutors said.

A day earlier police found the bodies of a former Interpol chief and his lawyer crammed into oil drums and sealed with concrete in a residential area of Juarez. Both had been suffocated with a plastic bag.

The industrial city of 1.3 million is a notorious drug trafficking hub controlled by the so-called Juarez cartel, a loose affiliation of drug gangs from the western state of Sinaloa that are prone to bloody feuding.

Last year the city noted a spike in drug-related killings triggered by a round of high-value cocaine and marijuana seizures there, although gangland violence has been eclipsed in recent months by a turf war further east on the U.S. border.

More than 150 people have been killed since January in Nuevo Laredo, across from Laredo, Texas, most in a battle between the local Gulf Cartel and rival gangs from Sinaloa.

The latest victim in that war, a former police commander, was found tortured and shot dead in the city this week.