Twelve hundred troops began leaving Juárez on September 15, in the midst of another spike in violence. At a ceremony under the mega-flag near the Free Bridge and the University of Juarez, the Governor of Chihuahua, the Mayor of Juarez, Military officials and other dignitaries thanked the troops for their service and congratulated them for their performance. Although an accord between municipal, state, and federal authorities has prolonged the departure of many of the troops until November 1, some of the nearly 10,000 troops are beginning to leave. Brigadier General Felipe de Jesús Espitia Hernández, commander of the Fifth Military Zone and coordinator of Joint Operation Chihuahua, indicated that the 1200 troops are being replaced by municipal police officers recently graduate from the police academy.
Tuesday night another ten persons were murdered at a rehabilitation center in Col. Barrio Azul. This is the third case of multiple murders in a rehabilitation center in the recent past. In May, five persons were executed at a rehab center, including the center director, and two weeks ago 17 persons at a drug rehabiliation center were murdered in a similar operation. Speculation was that those murdered were street pushers, killed by rival gangs over turf. In recent years Juarez has had an increasing problem with drug addiction.
The incident began last night at 10:15 p.m., just as inmates were preparing to go to bed after a prayer session. An group of armed men entered the establishment and executed ten persons, including Hiram Ortiz, the director, and a physician who was attending a patient. Two more persons were severely injured and taken to a hospital. Another four persons were killed on Tuesday, adding up to a total of 14. More than 1600 persons have been murdered in Juarez so far this year, surpassing last year's annual total more than a quarter of the year left.
On Monday eight persons were killed. In one incident five persons were murdered at a car wash on Alameda. The others fit the usual pattern: one man gunned down as he was leaving his home for work in the morning, another killed by a gunman who drove up next to the vehicle the victim was driving and pumped bullets into the cabin. Another shot on the street.
Last night, at about 12:30 a.m. five persons were killed at the Coco Bongo Bar on Hermanos Escobar and Costa Rica. According to a report by Diario 23 different bars and nightclubs have been the scene of executions this year.