Regional
12:02 am
Wed March 17, 2010

FBI: No Evidence Americans Were Targeted In Juarez Murders

Juarez, Mexico – The FBI says that confused hit men may have gone to the wrong party when they shot dead three people with ties to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

That casts doubt on fears that the Saturday slayings in the border city across from El Paso, Texas, shows Mexican drug cartels have launched an offensive against U.S. government employees.

Gunmen chased two white SUVs from the birthday party of a consulate employee's child on Saturday and opened fire as horrified relatives screamed. The two nearly simultaneous attacks left three adults dead and at least two children wounded.

The attack drives home just how dangerous Juarez has become and just how vulnerable those who live and work there can be, despite the Mexican government's claims that most victims are drug smugglers.

According to one line of investigation, the assailants believed to be aligned with the Juarez drug cartel may have been ordered to attack a white SUV leaving a party and mistakenly went to the "Barquito de Papel." The Barquito, whose name means "Paper Boat," puts on children's parties.

Experts as well cast doubt on the idea that drug cartels would be interested in turning their guns on U.S. government employees.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.