Juárez vigilantes vow to kill 1 criminal a day
Los Angeles, Alta California
JUAREZ: Civilian militia massacres
17 drug addicts at rehab center
A paramilitary civilian group formed in January called "Comando Ciudadano por Juárez" (CCJ) invaded a drug rehabilitation center in the Mexican border city and killed 17 of the patients. The military style assault took place Wednesday night and involved 12 black-clad gunmen with assault rifles and wearing ski masks.
The well armed civilian paramilitary organization is funded by wealthy Cd. Juarez businessmen and industrialists. The group announced its formation in January with a communique to the city's newspaper. The communique said, “Citizens tired with the level of impunity that exists in this city have formed the Juarez Citizens Command (CCJ) whose goal is to put an end to the criminal elements that have provoked terror among the citizens of the city." The communique promises to "eliminate one criminal every 24 hours."
The attack Wednesday night was against the Casa Aliviane Center that is a few blocks from the international bridge leading to downtown El Paso, Texas This is the third attack on an addiction treatment center in Cd. Juarez in the last 12 months. In June, five addicts were murdered in another drug addiction center and last summer eight more were massacred in yet another. Drug addicts are being blamed for the city's high crime rates. The Juarez Citizens Command (CCJ) has vowed to "cleanse" the city of all criminals.
The assault on the Casa Aliviane Center was particularly vicious. The gunmen stormed the center just after sunset and while the patients were praying. They were forced to kneel in a hallway and then shot repeatedly with assault rifles. Media reports in Juarez say that there was a "river of blood" flowing down the hallway, into the sidewalk and then down the gutter. (See photo)
The exact composition of the Juarez Citizens Command (CCJ) is unknown but some media reports imply that it includes some elements of the Mexican military. Some journalists speculate that the large number of killings of petty criminals and small time drug dealers turning up dead on the streets of the city is actually the work of the CCJ and not due to battles between the major drug cartels.
The emergence of "death squads" funded by Mexico's elite gives the so call "drug war" an entirely new character. It turns it into a "class war." The 17 young patients at the Casa Aliviane Center were extremely destitute. The families are now having to borrow money to bury their murdered family members. The Juarez Citizens Command (CCJ) has now turned the "drug war" into a violent class war between the "haves and the have-nots."