NPR logo As Mexican Drug War Escalates, Juarez Cartel Explodes Car Bomb


As Mexican Drug War Escalates, Juarez Cartel Explodes Car Bomb

The car bomb was a trap that could've been plotted by a thriller novelist.

The Juarez cartel kidnapped a guy, dressed him up as a cop, shot him, dumped him out on the street and then phoned the local equivalent of 911, saying an officer is down.  When the police raced to the scene, the cartel operatives used a cell phone to detonate 10 kilos of explosives in a nearby car.

A local TV cameraman from Noti 5 in Juarez had also rushed to the scene.  He captured the entire explosion and kept shooting, even though he was hit with shrapnel.


I'd seen the footage, which is dramatic, but it's not as dramatic as walking around where the bomb went off.

The blast occurred at an intersection and blew out windows halfway up the block on 16 de Septiembre. There's damage to buildings in all 4 directions.

Across the street, a shop that sells comforters and bedding had all of its windows shattered even though its metal blinds had been locked down.  The force of the blast even knocked down part of their ceiling.  Fortunately this occurred at almost 8 p.m. when most of the shops and offices in the area were closed.  Far more people could have been injured or killed if it had gone off in the middle of the day.

The Juarez cartel claimed responsibility for the car bomb which is the first of its kind in Mexico’s increasingly deadly and increasingly sophisticated Drug War.