Mexico Endures Latest Rehab Murder Spree

By McCarton Ackerman 06/05/12

Cartel hit-men attack a drug rehab center in northern Mexico, killing 11.

Ambulances gather outside the rehab center.
Photo via

It seems like no one is safe in Mexicoeven in rehab. Eleven people were killed and eight others injured after a group of heavily-armed gunmen attacked a drug rehab center in the northern city of Torreon. After opening fire in the facility, the gunmen then fled the scene in two pick-up trucks. The motives for the attack remain unclear, but Mexican authorities suspect that it was carried out by drug cartel hit-men targeting rivals who were selling drugs at the facility under the pretext of seeking treatment for drug addiction. Most of the rehab attacks are launched by rival drug gangs to kill opponents hiding in rehab centers or undergoing treatment for addiction. Cartels also often prey on recovering addicts at such facilities, using their addictions to force them into their ranksand making them potential targets for rival gangs. Rehab murders are sadly far from uncommon in Mexico. At least 13 people were killed in a similar drug rehab attack in Torreon last June, while 18 people were murdered at a drug clinic in Ciudad Juarez back in 2009. Altogether, more than 60 people have been killed in such shootings in recent years.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.