Massacre at Rehab Center in MexicoPosted: Updated:
A heavily armed commando gunned down 18 people in a rehab center in Juarez. The mass murders stunned people in a city that has grown nearly numb from all the bloodshed. The amount of blood we saw at the crime scene was shocking.
I stood up against the yellow crime scene tape and looked into what was had become a house of horrors. Inside the blood covered the patio of the rehab center where gunmen lined up their targets against a wall and shot them execution style.
It happened just blocks from the border. This is the 4th drug rehab center attacked since rival drug cartels started fighting for the smuggling routes that link the sister cities El
Paso and Juarez last year.
Authorities say these rehab centers often serve as hideouts for hit men or fertile recruiting grounds for traffickers looking for new recruits.
Police officers posted outside the crime scene told me the neighborhood is a hotspot for gang activity. Many of the families I talked to did not want to give their names. Some did not want to appear on camera for our story either. They fear a new wave of revenge killings after the rehab murders.
Most hid in their homes during the killing spree and only ventured out the next morning to see what had happened. I found Barbara Lampe and her mother Diana Gordon walking down the street. At first I thought the American women might be tourists who wandered away from the downtown shopping strip.
But Lampe told me they moved here 5 months ago after her husband lost his job in Bakersfield, California "because it's cheaper living." After the massacre Lampe's mother doubts it's worth the risk, "It was scary. I'm ready to move. Her son-in-law has since found a job in El Paso but the family remains in Juarez.
Back the crime scene; we hear noises on the patio of the rehab center. The officers enter to investigate and find a chocolate colored pit bull with cropped ears chained up. He's sitting in a pool of blood whimpering for water. (I did convince the officers to give the dog some water in his empty overturned dish. It too was covered in blood.)
Nearby the body of another pit bull lay rotting in the sun. It was shot during the attack.
Those who sought refuge or a hiding place at this rehab center felt they needed the guard dogs. It turns out they were right.