MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The U.S. government has shut indefinitely its consulate in Mexico’s most violent drug war city Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, to evaluate security conditions.
The U.S. embassy in Mexico City said in a statement on Thursday that the Ciudad Juarez consulate would “remain closed until the security review is completed.”
A U.S. enforcement official who declined to be named said the consulate had closed after receiving a “credible threat” but did not have more details. The embassy was not immediately available for comment.
It is not the first time the consulate, which processes Mexicans looking to travel or emigrate to the United States, has been shuttered. It closed briefly in March after three people connected to the consulate were murdered by drug hitmen.
Ciudad Juarez has become one of the world’s most violent places, with some 6,000 people killed over the past 2-1/2 years as rival drug cartels fight over lucrative smuggling routes into the United States.
Mexico’s drug war has killed more than 26,000 people, mainly cartel members and police officers, since President Felipe Calderon took power and launched an army crackdown on traffickers in late 2006. The rampant violence worries Washington and foreign investors.
Reporting by Missy Ryan and Mica Rosenberg in Mexico City and Tim Gaynor in Phoenix, editing by Philip Barbara