Car Bomb Adds Dark Precedent to Juarez Narco-War

By Matthew Harwood

The drug war just across the border from El Paso, Texas, got closer to Baghdad last week after the Mexican border city of Cuidad Juárez experienced its first car bomb, killing two police officers and a paramedic and injuring seven people.

But what made the use of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (IED) even ghastlier was how the perpetrators lured their victims close to the car. According to

In the real Ciudad Juárez on Thursday, July 15, gangsters kidnapped a man, dressed him in a police uniform, shot him and dumped him bleeding on a downtown street. A cameraman happened to film what happened after federal police and paramedics got close. The video shows medics bent over the dumped man, checking for vital signs. Suddenly a bang rings out, and the image shakes vigorously as the cameraman runs for his life. The gangsters had used a cell phone to detonate 22 lb. of C-4 explosives packed into a nearby car. A minute later, the camera turns back around to reveal the remains of a burning car, smoke over screaming victims and charred corpses. Three people, including a federal police officer, were killed, and several others injured.

Mexican authorities believe the blast was the work of La Linea, the armed wing of the Juárez drug cartel, in retaliation for arresting its alleged operations leader, Jesús Armando Acosta Guerrero.

Experts consider this development in the war between Mexican drug cartels and the state a gruesome new precedent that draws on tactics developed by insurgents and terrorists in the Middle East and Colombia.


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