17 Killed by Gunmen at Gay Party in Mexico

A gay party in Mexico turned deadly on Sunday in the northern city of Torreon, as gunmen sprayed bullets at a crowd celebrating a birthday at the Italia Inn. Authorities believe drugs, not hate, were at the root of it:

Torreon"But early Sunday, as musicians serenaded amid food, drink and dancing, gunmen burst into the party, blocked the exits and, saying not a word, opened fire, killing 17 men and women and injuring a similar number. It was one of the highest single-incident death tolls since the beginning of Mexico's raging drug war, which has claimed nearly 25,000 lives from the time that President Felipe Calderon launched a military-led offensive against powerful narcotics cartels in December 2006...Authorities confirmed the number of dead and said some of the 18 injured were in critical condition...Investigators recovered 122 spent shells from high-velocity assault rifles. Many of the partygoers at the event that began Saturday evening were attracted by an invitation that appeared on Facebook, according to reporters at the Torreon edition of Milenio newspaper and television. The posting included directions and a map. Organizers of the party were a gay group, Milenio said, but the invitation specifically said the event was open to all. Although that raised the possibility of an anti-gay hate crime, most speculation centered on drug traffickers as the assailants."

Watch news reports on the massacre from CNN en Español and CBS, which ties ti to the larger, escalating drug war, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted July 19, 2010 at 8:45am ETC by Andy Towle
in crime, mexico, News