Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico: At least 17 killed in bar massacre

Police and forensic officers at scene of shootings in Monterrey, Mexico - 8 July 2011
Monterrey has become the scene of a vicious turf war between drug cartels

At least 17 people were killed and several wounded when gunmen opened fire on customers and staff in a bar in Monterrey, Mexico, local officials say.

The gunmen burst into the city-centre bar late on Friday.

Monterrey, in north-eastern Mexico, has been the site of a bloody turf war between drug cartels for several years.

More than 34,000 people have been killed in the last four years in Mexico's crackdown on the drug gangs, the government said in January.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said in a visit to Mexico on Friday that she was "deeply concerned by the very high and still escalating levels of violent crime in some parts the country.

"Organised crime, with its brutal actions and methods, threatens the very core of the state and attacks the basic human rights we are struggling so hard to protect," she said in a statement.

Ms Pillay said she was also concerned by "increasing reports of rights violations and excessive use of force by state agents in the course of their actions against organised crime".

She added: "Torture as a practice must be stopped."

Map showing areas of influence of Mexican drug cartels