Sixteen students murdered in Mexican house party shooting

Gunmen have murdered 16 young students in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez in what appears to be a mistaken drugs hit.  It is reported that the victims in this brutal attack were aged between 15 and 20.  The shooting, a common occurrence in Ciudad Juárez, left a further 20 people injured, some critically.
Eyewitness reports describe how up to 15 assailants arrived in a fleet of 4×4 vehicles.  While some of the gang blocked off entry and exit points to the street, the remaining members opened fire on several houses.  An unnamed witness has described how the men, “were well armed.  They went into the house and shot at everyone, you could hear the gunfire all round.”
After the attack, blood poured onto the street from the houses.  Further witness reports suggest that the gunmen believed that the revelers were members of a rival gang further fuelling claims that the killings are linked to drug related turf-wars. 
Due to its geographical location, Mexico serves as the main gateway for drugs to enter the USA.  This is particularly apparent in Ciudad Juárez which is located right on the US border, rival cartels vie for control of cross border trade as well as monopoly over the large number of addicts who reside in Ciudad Juárez.  Drug cartels show no hesitancy to resort to arms in the Chihuahuan city which, last year, had one of the world’s highest murder rates with a reported 2,650 killings. 
The Mexican government has taken drastic action in an attempt to control drug-related violence.  In 2006, the army were deployed throughout Mexico, an undertaking which the government hoped would curb the soaring murder rate.  A total of 45,000 troops were installed, 10,000 of whom are positioned in Ciudad Juárez.  Despite these measures, there have been 17,000 killings in Mexico since 2006 and the citizenry are losing patience with President Felipe Calderon.  A banner left at the scene of the murders reads, “until we find who is responsible, you Mr. President are the assassin.”
Although the murders are largely between rival cartels, incidents such as this serve to diminish support in the government.  The citizens of Ciudad Juárez are questioning whether enough is being done to protect innocent citizens.  The outcry is not limited to fearful citizens either, the Mexican Senate has insisted that the government explain how 16 innocent people could be massacred without any form of state intervention.
On the same day as the attack in Ciudad Juárez, 20 gunmen opened fire on a police station in the Pacific port city of Lázaro Cárdenas and just a week earlier Paraguayan footballer Salvador Cabañas was left with a bullet lodged in his brain after an assault in Mexico City.  The attacks are indicative of a climate of gun violence in Mexico, a climate that will escalate unless renewed efforts are made by the government.