Mexican president Felipe Calderon on Friday declared three days of mourning after two dozen gunmen burst into the Casino Royale in Monterey Mexico Thursday, doused the building with fuel and set the structure ablaze trapping dozens of people inside.Calderon also said the U.S. is failing in its efforts to stem the drug trade and prevent the import of U.S. weapons into Mexico. He called on the American government: “to reflect on the tragedy we are living in Mexico and many other Latin American countries, in large part from the insatiable consumption of drugs involving millions and millions of Americans” (via @mpoppel).
Calderon offered a $2.4 million reward for the capture of those responsible.
From Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama is calling the attack “barbaric” and “reprehensible” — confirming U.S. intentions to continue its fight against Mexican cartels.
CBS reports survivors say the armed men entered the casino in what looked to be a robbery, but instead poured gasoline from tanks each of them carried and screamed at the workers and guests to get out.
In terror, many people ran farther into the building where they were trapped by the flames and died.
50-two deaths have so far been confirmed.
Calderon says the attack was likely the work of a local drug cartel but one has yet to be named.
Mexican cartels often target casinos, threatening to burn them down if they refuse to pay extortion.
This is the second time in three months the Casino Royale was attacked.