Mexican Hospital Caught in Drug Mafia’s Turf War

by Gopalan on  May 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM Drug News   - G J E 4
Mexican Hospital Caught in Drug Mafia’s Turf War
A Mexican hospital is caught in a turf war between drug cartels. Now Mexican troops are guarding the Tijuana hospital to prevent reprisals against eight members receiving treatment there.

Only emergency cases are being admitted to the hospital.

Fifteen people were killed in clashes on Saturday between members of rival gangs in the city, near the US border. Eight of the injured are under treatment, but many fear their lives are in imminent danger.

Soldiers carrying machine guns have sealed off the Tijuana hospital to all but emergency cases and a severely restricted number of visitors.

The drug lords have been striking at will with impunity.

About 900 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico this year, nearly 200 of them in Tijuana, situated on the US-Mexico border.

But the new government seems keen to check the depredations of the drug mafia.

Since taking office in late 2006, President Calderon has sent nearly 30,000 soldiers and federal police to fight Mexico's powerful drugs cartels.

Despite the extra security, the drug-related violence has continued as gangs struggle to control lucrative trafficking routes.

Police said the 15 people killed in Saturday's gun battles were all from the Arellano Felix cartel, which has come under pressure from a rival gang.

The cartel rose to prominence in Tijuana in the 1980s. Much of its activities centre on smuggling Colombian cocaine through Mexico to California.

Police say the gang has been weakened by the arrest or killing of many of its top leaders in police raids.

It has also come under pressure from a rival gang from the west coast state of Sinaloa, led by Mexico's most wanted criminal, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman.

Source: Medindia

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