Manila Times - - World -

MEX­ICO CITY: Gun­men dressed as mari­achi mu­si­cians opened fire in Mex­ico City’s famed Plaza Garibaldi, killing five peo­ple and wound­ing eight oth­ers, in­clud­ing a for­eigner, law en­force­ment of­fi­cials said on Satur­day (Sun­day in Manila). The five as­sailants opened fire with ri­fles and hand­guns shortly be­fore 10 p.m. Fri­day (0300 GMT on Satur­day) as the down­town plaza was filled with party-go­ers en­joy­ing the Septem­ber 16 In­de­pen­dence Day week­end cel­e­bra­tions. In­ves­ti­ga­tors later found 60 empty bul­let cas­ings on the ground. The shoot­ers fled aboard three mo­tor­cy­cles, the Mex­ico City pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice said. The city’s chief of pub­lic se­cu­rity, Ray­mundoCollins, de­scribed the attack as a tar­geted hit. Po­lice pa­trol ve­hi­cles on Satur­day were parked out­side venues usu­ally burst­ing with cus­tomers seek­ing to pay mari­achi mu­si­cians to per­form. Un­til re­cently Mex­ico’s cap­i­tal had been safe from the or­ga­nized crime-re­lated vi­o­lence wrack­ing other parts of the coun­try. Most tar­geted reprisals have taken place on the city’s out­skirts or in ar­eas where crim­i­nal gangs op­er­ate. Plaza Garibaldi is lo­cated near the no­to­ri­ous Tepito neigh­bor­hood, where a lo­cal gang that dis­trib­utes drugs in the sprawl­ing cap­i­tal of 21 mil­lion is based. Po­lice have linked that gang to larger car­tels such as the Jalisco New Gen­er­a­tion. Mex­ico has been hit by a wave of vi­o­lence since de­ploy­ing the army to fight the coun­try’s pow­er­ful drug car­tels in 2006. Since then, more than 200,000 peo­ple have been mur­dered, in­clud­ing a record 28,702 last year. An­other 37,000 peo­ple are re­ported as miss­ing.

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