Photo: 12 Killed in San Juan Making 163 Violent Deaths in Puerto Rico in 2013
A man gunned down inside a San Juan restaurant was among 12 people murdered over the weekend in Puerto Rico, authorities said Monday.
The latest killings raise to 163 the number of violent deaths so far this year, 12 less than at the same time last year.
The deaths of four individuals, including boxer Hector “El Flaco” Sanchez, in the wee hours of Sunday in San Juan became the third multiple killing to date this year as drug dealers continue to battle over territory.
The incident at a Denny’s restaurant in San Juan’s Isla Verde district has shaken public opinion.
The police report of the incident in the restaurant said an argument broke out, though no one knows what it was about, and that led to the shooting.
The 12 deaths last weekend have reminded people about the crime problem and the fact that Puerto Rico is directly associated with drug trafficking.
The pressure brought to bear by U.S. authorities on the Mexican border has shifted the routes used by drug traffickers to the Caribbean and particularly to Puerto Rico, U.S. territory from where merchandise sent to the mainland goes through no international border controls.
Some of the drugs remain for local consumption in Puerto Rico, where local gangs fight it out at gunpoint for territory where they can make their sales.