MEXICO CITY – Health authorities in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua shut down nine addiction-treatment centers in Ciudad Juarez in the wake of this week’s killing of 10 people at a rehab facility in the violent border city.
The decision will affect at least 80 people undergoing treatment, sources in the health department told Efe Friday.
The department acted after inspections uncovered serious problems at the nine facilities, including some cases in which patients had been committed solely on the say of family members, without proper legal authorization.
Authorities have so far examined 32 of the 64 drug-rehabs operation in Juarez, which lies just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Among the facilities ordered closed are the Nexo de vida (Life link) clinic, where 10 people were gunned down earlier this week, and El Aliviane, scene of a Sept. 2 massacre that left 18 dead.
The nine clinics included in the closure order lacked the necessary licenses and permits and none had a qualified medical director, officials said.
Ciudad Juarez is Mexico’s most dangerous city, accounting for more than a quarter of the country’s 6,000 gangland murders in 2008 and the scene of upwards of 1,400 slayings so far this year.
The murder rate took off in the border city of 1.5 million people in 2007, when more than 800 people were killed, then it more than doubled to 1,623 in 2008.
The Juarez drug cartel has been battling the Sinaloa cartel for control of the border region.
Mexican officials, who deployed 8,000 federal police and soldiers in Juarez months ago in an effort to reduce the violence, have been unable to put a dent in the murder rate, which is running at about 10 per day in the past month. EFE