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Casino In Mexico Is Torched: Drug Cartels Are Suspected
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A casino in the capital of Nuevo Leon has been destroyed by an arson fire, a suspected attack by rival drug gangs that are battling to gain control of everything in the drug running corridor between Mexico and the United States. The Monterrey Casino in Monterrey was open for business when several men walked in and set fire to the establishment, leaving 52 people, including a pregnant woman, dead with several others injured.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has strongly and publicly decried the actions of the men, calling them “terrorists, motivated by greed” shortly after the fire occurred. A security camera caught some of the activity before the fire started, showing several men, most of whom appeared to be armed arriving in three separate vehicles. Those men, in addition to carrying weapons appeared to have containers of some kind with them when they entered the Monterrey Casino. Only moments later, the men were seen leaving and the casino was already engulfed in flames. Several of the patrons did make it out alive but many others were trapped inside in an attack that took less than three minutes from start to finish.

Several people made it out of the casino alive and have described the scene but only when guaranteed anonymity for doing so, fearing the repercussions of talking in public about anything that they might have seen there. Some described hiding in bathroom while others managed to bust out windows and escape that way. Some victims hiding in bathrooms in the front portion of the casino asphyxiated there. Reports are not definite, but it appears that none of the victims died from gun shot wounds.

Now, the city, the third largest in Mexico, will have to sort out the remaining victims that have not been identified and work to help worried people find their missing loved ones. Some of the victims have not been identified or even had their genders determined at this point but is known that at least 35 of the victims of the deadly blaze were women and ten were definitely men. Three day of national mourning has been declared by the president while the Mexican Attorney General’s office has offered a substantial reward for any information that leads to an arrest in this case.

This area of Mexico, located in the northern area, has been the scene of growing violence as two rival gangs, the Gulf Cartel and the Los Zetas have been working to gain control of the areas in Monterrey and other locations along the border. Both are interested in controlling traffic along the drug running corridor between the two nations. In July, twenty people were shot by a gunmen in a nightclub in Monterrey. Gun battles have become the norm in the cities, especially those along the border and bodies have been found in various states of abuse as the drug lords work to send messages to one another as well as to anyone who would defy them.


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