Sunday, March 14, 2010

U.S. Consulate Employee Killed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

photo from el Diario

Correction, March 15:

The news media have often referred to the female victim of Saturday's attack as a U.S. citizen, however, she was - and, unless she was naturalized, remained at the time of her murder - a Mexican/Canadian citizen. Mexican news media is reporting today that she was born in 1974 in the state of Chihuahua and is the daughter of prominent Mexican businessman Manuel Jorge Enriquez Savignac and a Canadian mother. She was employed at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez since 2001, and resided in El Paso, Texas.


Update at 8 PM, March 14:

The State Department just released Hillary's Clinton's Statement on the Murders in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.


The news media is reporting that an employee of U.S. Consulate Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was killed late Saturday, along with her U.S. citizen husband. The couple were shot by multiple gunmen while in their private vehicle and stopped at the El Paso International Bridge, the main border crossing point into El Paso, Texas. A child, reported to be under one year old, was unharmed in the back seat of the vehicle.

At roughly the the same time the U.S. couple were killed, a Mexican citizen who is married to a Mexican employee of the Consulate was shot to death at a separate location.

Some U.S. news outlets are reporting the names of the two U.S. citizen victims, but I've seen no official identification yet. Neither have I seen any official information concerning in what capacity the U.S. victim was employed at the Consulate.

According to the ABC News story today:

The U.S. State Department has authorized employees working in six Mexican border cities to move their families out of those areas because of security concerns.

The unprecedented move comes as authorities in Mexico investigate the murders of 3 people connected to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez.

Gunmen killed the victims late Saturday afternoon. In a brief statement Sunday morning National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer confirmed the murders.

"The President is deeply saddened and outraged by the news of the brutal murders of three people associated with the United States Consulate General in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, including a U.S. citizen employee, her U.S. citizen husband, and the husband of a Mexican citizen employee."

Local Mexican news outlets added some details today (report in Spanish), and the New York Times is adding more in a report dated March 15.

The State Department issued a new travel warning for Mexico today.

It's easy to speculate that the shootings were attacks by narcotics traffickers on U.S. interests, and the circumstances - multiple gunmen in broad daylight, and near-simultaneous attacks on related targets - supports that assumption. However, early reports are notorious for being wrong, and I'll wait for more information before drawing any conclusions about this sad incident.

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