Gasoline Attack Kills 53 at Mexican Casino

Gunmen burst into a casino in Monterrey, Mexico, Thursday night, spraying the carpets with gasoline and setting it on fire. 53 were killed and the death toll is expect to rise.

Drug cartels in Mexico’s violence-plagued north often threaten business owners for “protection” payments. It’s not clear yet who is involved in the attack but police assume it is one of the local gangs fighting for control of Monterrey’s drug trade. The city is large and prosperous, and drug violence has only recently arrived from border areas.

The attack comes as the New York Times reports yet more American involvement in the Mexican government’s military attack on drugs. The US has allowed Mexican police to launch raids into Mexico from US side of the border, but says it doesn’t participate.

The US often has drug suspects extradited to stand trial from across the Americas as part of its various deals with Colombia and Mexico, and the Times also recently revealed that the CIA, DEA, and their contractors were operating inside Mexico.

These efforts have only served to ramp up the violence; some 42,000 people have been killed since the $1.4 billion Mérida Initiative began in 2006. Mérida funds the Mexican government to stop the flow of drugs into the United States, the Americas’ primary illicit-drug consumer.

Last 5 posts by Jeremy Sapienza

Author: Jeremy Sapienza

Jeremy Sapienza is Senior Editor at

  • John_Muhammad

    So when will we see nightly newscast recaps of the days' drone strikes on drug cartel operators? When will we see our troops massing on the border, readying for a good old-fashioned intervention?

    Oh, we wont see either of those? I guess since they're not African or Middle Eastern, it's not politically correct to shower them with bombs and drone-fired missiles. Then again, what resources does Mexico have that we can use- surely there's SOMETHING down there to justify an invasion so we can grab it for ourselves. Nothing? Not even a single terrorist cell? C'mon, State Department, work with me on this.

  • andy

    We need to end the immoral "war on drugs". It is destroying Mexico (among other things).

  • N. Joseph Potts

    The War on Drugs (no longer called that by the agencies that coined that term for their activities) daily takes on more and more of the attributes of a real war (and the analogy was always apt).

    It's very fitting for to deal with this "War" as a real war, and so, one to which is opposed.