Juárez violence claims 7 over weekend

By Stephanie Sanchez / For the Sun-News
Article Launched: 05/19/2008 06:13:17 AM MDT

EL PASO —A Florida woman has identified one of the men found dead in the trunk of a car early Saturday in Juárez as her 27-year-old husband and says she believes he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Falen Carnohan of East Central Florida said Mexican authorities have asked her to travel to Juárez to identify the body of her husband, whom she only identified as Savas. He had been in Juárez since November waiting for permission to re-enter the United States, she said.

Officials found three men in a car around 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the Melchor Ocampo area. One man found dead inside was identified as Carlos Froylan Camacho, a former federal representative and current head of the consumer protection program for Juárez. Savas and another man, who was identified by a political organization as Manuel Carrasco Navarrete, were found in the trunk of the car.

It was unknown Sunday how the men died.

Mexican authorities have not identified the two men in the trunk, and calls placed to a homicide division of Chihuahua judicial state police went unanswered.

State officials said the violence that has rocked Juárez continued Sunday with the deaths of seven men -- three of whom were found wrapped
in a blanket with their hands tied.

Carnohan said in a telephone interview that her husband had lived in Georgia since he was 16 years old, but was forced to go back to Mexico because his visa had expired. He was expecting to get his new visa and rejoin her and their two children in about four months.

"The last time I talked to him, he was going home to change to go to the gym," Carnohan said. "Around 7 p.m. on Friday. ... He was tired, he was going to the gym and go home."

After a few hours, she said she called him again and no one answered. The unanswered phone calls continued until Mexican officials answered his apartment phone around noon Saturday.

The person with whom she spoke told her she would have to travel to Juárez to identify the body, but would not give her any other details.

"I really don't know what is going on. Nobody is talking about the situation," she said. "I want to know what happened and what it was about."

Carnohan said the last time she saw her husband was in March, when she surprised him for his birthday by coming to visit him for three days. Another trip to visit her husband of five years was planned within about two weeks from today.

"My daughter adored her father. All she could talk about was going to see him. Now I have to break it to her that she will never hear his voice again," she said, adding that they had two children, an 8-year-old and 4-year-old.

"I know they (the murderers) don't have a heart and they are motivated by one thing," Carnohan said.

Juárez has had a rash of killings that have been linked to warring drug cartels. About 300 homicides have occurred so far this year.

The Mexican federal government has sent 2,000 soldiers and federal police to Juárez in an attempt to control the violence.

Friday, Guillermo Prieto Quintana, the city's top police official, resigned and will be replaced with a retired military officer. His departure came after the slaying of police director Juan Antonio Roman Garcia, who was gunned down May 10.

"I'm walking blind and I don't know what to do. I don't know anything about Mexico," Carnohan said. "They need to handle this because there are so many lives that are put in jeopardy. We all need to unite and have something change."

Stephanie Sanchez reports for the El Paso Times, a member of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership, and may be reached at ssanchez@elpasotimes.com; 546-6137.

In other violence in Juárez:

The bodies of three men were found wrapped in a blanket near Emilio Abreu and Mauricio Magdaleno streets about 2 p.m. Sunday. Cause of death was unknown but the victims were tied. No arrests were reported.

More violence:

A 50-year-old man was shot and killed around 2:45 a.m. Sunday outside Papagallos Bar, near Tlaxcala and Belice streets. Victim was shot four times. Police found 21 shells at the scene. No arrests.

Wilfredo Moya Estaco, 48, shot and killed just before 4 a.m. in parking lot of V-Bar. Moya Estaco died at General Hospital from .40-caliber gunshot wounds. No arrests.

A man, 30 to 35 years old, was shot and killed around 12:50 a.m. near Mapimi and Moris streets. Victim was found inside Mercedes Benz. Fourteen shells were found at the scene. No arrests.

Manuel Flores Ramos, 53, was shot and killed Saturday near Hacienda Oriente and Hacienda Merecedes streets. Victim was shot in the neck and burns on his face, neck and arms were found. A vehicle nearby was partially burned. No arrests