UnNews:Drug gangs attack Mexican car wash

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27 October 2010

Employees at the Santa Limpieza car wash alongside the Palace of Democratic Justice in downtown Tepic, during calmer times.

TEPIC, Nayarit -- Assailants opened fire at a car wash in this city in western Mexico on Wednesday, hitting at least 13 people. It was the third such attack in the country in less than a week.

The assailants drove up to the car wash and began firing, using sponges, squeegees, and entire pails of dirty, soapy water, according to an official with the state attorney general's office, speaking off the record. Between 13 and 15 people were hit, and some of them reported that harsh automotive soap stung their eyes. Fortunately, none of the victims had ordered the undercarriage wax treatment.

President Felipe Calderon, also speaking off the record, called for a minute of silence for the victims. Then he corrected himself: "Perhaps half an hour." An extended period of silence would cover two other massacres in the country since Friday: an attack on a birthday party, where 14 youngsters in the border city of Ciudad Juárez were hit with balloons and Nerf footballs, and another at a drug rehab center in Tijuana where 13 recovering addicts were hit with flashbacks.

Mass attacks have become common in Mexico. Authorities, also speaking off the record, did not say who might be behind the attack in Tepic, but drug gangs were blamed in the first two massacres. The authorities said their National Action Party (PAN) has in fact lessened violence and chaos, which, before they won the Mexican presidency in 2000, had largely been conducted by the government itself.