Mexico: 4 men gunned down at Ciudad Juarez motel

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – Attackers shot four men to death in a motel parking lot in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's deadliest city.

The victims were standing outside a vehicle drinking alcohol Sunday when they were shot multiple times, said Arturo Sandoval, spokesman for the regional North Zone prosecutor's office.

Ciudad Juarez, which is across from El Paso, Texas, has suffered the worst of Mexico's drug violence, with more than 1,300 deaths so far this year. The city is home to the Juarez cartel, which has been in a turf battle with the rival Sinaloa cartel for lucrative drug routes.

Drug violence has killed more than 13,500 people nationwide since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on gangs after taking office in late 2006. The government has deployed more than 45,000 soldiers and 5,000 federal agents to drug hotspots.

In the Pacific port of Lazaro Cardenas, about 150 federal police officers assigned to fight cartels went on strike Monday, saying they have not been paid in two months or received hazard bonuses.

Lazaro Cardenas is in Michoacan state, where the bloodied and tortured bodies of 12 federal agents were found dumped along a highway in July in one of the worst single attacks against government forces.

Officials said the killings were in response to the arrest of a main operative of La Familia cartel.

Jonathan M. Romano Skate Park as the sun sets. AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Nick de la Torre