Gunmen attack AA meeting in Mexico, killing 1

AP News
Posted: Nov 11, 2009 1:42 AM

Gunmen burst into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and opened fire in a violence-plagued Mexican border state, killing one person and wounding four others, authorities said.

Investigators have not determined a motive for the shootings late Monday in Chihuahua City, the state capital of Chihuahua, the state prosecutor's spokesman Eduardo Esparza said Tuesday.

Gunmen have opened fire in several drug rehabilitation centers in Ciudad Juarez, located in the northern part of the state. In September, 28 people were killed in two such attacks in the border city, which has seen some of the worst violence in Mexico's drug war. More than 1,900 people have been killed there this year. Esparza said Monday's shooting was the first such attack in Chihuahua City.

Authorities attribute the violence to a dispute between the rival Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, and have said some drug gangs may be using drug rehabilitation centers as a cover or recruiting grounds.

Also Tuesday, in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco, state Attorney General Rafael Gonzalez Lastra announced police had detained 7 suspected members of the Zetas drug gang, including two teenagers, one aged 14.

He said the gang "may be recruiting adolescents, in order to avoid justice," given that minors are considered youthful offenders until the age of 18 _ 16 in some states _ and are not jailed.

The 14-year-old told police his father had been in the gang before being arrested in December.

Gonzalez Lastra said police also found weapons during the arrests, and acknowledged that one of the adult suspects had died while in police custody. He said medical exams indicate the man died of pneumonia and said the death was unrelated to police questioning.

Elsewhere, in the northern city of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, a man's tortured body was found hanging from a highway overpass. State prosecutors' spokesman Martin Robles said the unidentified man had his hands tied behind his back and was hung by the neck.

Sinaloa is the home state of some of Mexico's most powerful drug lords. Two bodies had been found previously in similar circumstances in the border city of Tijuana.

And in the Pacific coast state of Colima, state police captured a violent gang member who was one of America's 15 most wanted fugitives by U.S. Marshals.

Aaron Lopez Garcia, 31, and three other inmates escaped from a city jail in Sunnyside, Washington, in November 2006, according to a press release on the U.S. Marshals Web site. Authorities captured his alleged accomplices soon afterward, but Garcia remained on the loose.

Police arrested him Monday near an ice cream factory in the seaside city of Manzanillo.

Federal law enforcement filed charges against Garza on Feb. 10, 2005, after authorities discovered him with a handgun on the floorboard of a vehicle in which he was a passenger. He went to trial and was found guilty.

U.S. Marshals said Garcia is a member of the Nortenos gang with past convictions of firearm possession, robbery, domestic violence, drug possession, burglary and assault.

Garcia was flown to the U.S. Monday, where he will face charges of escape and firearms violations.