Mexican authorities have confirmed that four US citizens have been shot dead in separate attacks in the border city of Ciudad Juarez.
Chihuahua state prosecutors spokesman Arturo Sandoval said Edgar Lopez, 35, of El Paso, Texas was killed when gunman opened fire on a group of people standing outside a house. Two Mexican men were killed along with the American.
In a second incident Mr. Sandoval said that a 26-year-old US woman and an American 15 year old boy identified as Giovanna Herrera and Luis Araiza were killed on Saturday shortly after crossing an international bridge into Ciudad Juarez from El Paso, Texas. A Mexican man travelling with them was also killed.
In a third incident, Mr. Sandoval said authorities also identified a woman killed on Friday inside a tortilla shop as a 24-year-old Lorena Izaguirre, a US citizen that resided in El Paso, Texas.
State Department spokesman Philip Crowley stated, “We will support the Mexican government in the investigation that is already under way.” State department figures show a steady rise in the number of Americans killed in Mexico. In the first six months of 2010, the latest figures available, 49 Americans were victims of homicide in Mexico, up from 37 for the same period in 2009 and 19 in the first half of 2008.
Ciudad Juarez has become one of the world’s deadliest cities amid a turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels. More than 2,000 people have been killed this year in the city, which is across the border from El Paso.