Drug Gangs in Mexico Attacking Private Drug Rehab Facilities
Private drug addiction rehabilitation centers may become targets for violent Mexican drug gang activity. The problem in Mexico is growing worse, say officials, because members of drug gangs can enter unlicensed, private centers and locate rival gang members who are attempting to recover from their addictions. Some gang members use drug rehabilitation centers to further the drug trade or to find new gang members.
Recently several vehicles approached a drug rehabilitation facility in northern Mexico, and then several men with weapons went one room at a time shooting patients and employees, taking 13 lives. In Mexico, the story is happening more often, with at least 50 fatalities blamed on these types of attacks on drug rehabilitation centers last year, as reported in the Christian Science Monitor.
Private clinics in Mexico are not affiliates of the judicial system and may not have the resources for strong security. Some of the assaults come when gang members want to seek revenge for a death or to try to kill an informant. In other cases, the motive for the attack is to try to lure new gang members from among the young recovering drug addicts in the centers.
Mexican drug cartels have even been known to open their own drug addiction treatment centers as an outlet for training new members. Drug addiction treatment is, in some cases, part of the training program. Later, people who have recovered from drug addictions may be utilized to transport drugs because they may not be as likely to consume the drugs themselves.
Unlike private Mexican rehabilitation centers, government-managed drug rehabilitation centers have more thorough security measures, including panic alarms.