Listen Live
Stone Soul 2024
iPowerRichmond Featured Video
CLOSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three people connected to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, were killed in a drive-by shooting in the violent border city, a senior White House official told CNN Sunday.

One of the victims was an American employee at the consulate. Her husband and the husband of a Mexican employee of the consulate were also killed. The shooting happened Saturday afternoon, the official said.

Details of the killings were not immediately available, but the news had reached the White House.

The President is deeply saddened and outraged by the news of the brutal murders of three people associated with the United States Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez,National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said in a statement Sunday. “He extends his condolences to the families and condemns these attacks on consular and diplomatic personnel serving at our foreign missions. In concert with Mexican authorities, we will work tirelessly to bring their killers to justice.”

In response, the U.S. State Department authorized the temporary relocation of employees’ families working in border-area consulates.

The families of employees at U.S. consulates in Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros are allowed to leave for a period of 30 days “in response to an increase in violence along the Mexican side of its border with the U.S.,” State Department spokesman Fred Lash told CNN.

After 30 days, the authorization can be renewed, depending on a review, Lash said, adding that this was not a mandatory evacuation.

Ciudad Juarez is one of the frontlines in Mexico’s war against the drug cartels that operate in its territory.

Juarez, located on the border across from El Paso, Texas, has become a focal point of Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s anti-drug efforts after the January 31 killings of 15 people there, most of whom were students with no ties to organized crime. The incident sparked outrage across Mexico.

The government has not released official figures, but national media say 7,600 Mexicans lost their lives in the war on drugs in 2009. Calderon said last year that 6,500 Mexicans died in drug violence in 2008.

Meanwhile, farther south in Mexico, at least 25 people were killed in a series of violent incidents in the western Mexican state of Guerrero on Saturday, state officials said.

The bodies of 14 people, including nine civilians and five police officers, were found in various parts of the resort city of Acapulco, the official Notimex news agency reported, citing Guerrero Public Security Secretary Juan Heriberto Salinas.

In the small city of Ajuchitlan del Progreso, 10 civilians and one soldier were killed in two shootouts that started when federal officials tried to carry out search warrants on two locations, Salinas said.

Police in the state were on a heightened security alert, he said.