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A party in the northern Mexican city of Torreon that was organized by a gay group on Facebook ended in a bloodbath early Sunday morning when gunmen opened fire, killing 17 men and women and injuring 18 others.
The Los Angeles Times reports it was one of the highest single-incident death tolls since the beginning of Mexico's raging drug war in 2006. President Felipe Calderon launched a military-led offensive against powerful narcotics cartels that December.
An invitation to the birthday party at the Italia Inn in Torreon was sent out by a gay group but advertised as being open to all. Authorities at the scene raised "the possibility of an anti-gay hate crime," but suspect drug traffickers were more likely involved.
Photos from the party show "toppled white plastic chairs, scattered musical instruments and cups and plates and shoes strewn on a blood-splattered floor alongside a tented pool. Empty beer bottles were lined up on tabletops; bullet holes punctured the walls."
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