MEXICO CITY – Mexican prosecutors announced Tuesday that they had won "historic" convictions and sentences of 697 years in prison against five men for killing 11 women near the border city of Ciudad Juarez.
The state prosecutor's office in Chihuahua state said the men lured women with the promise of jobs, but instead subjected them to human trafficking and forced prostitution before killing them.
A statement from the office called the sentences on charges of aggravated homicide and human trafficking "exemplary and historic."
Ciudad Juarez, which is across from El Paso, Texas, was the scene of a series of eerily similar killings of more than 100 women beginning in 1993. Those possible serial or copy-cat killings, with similar victim profiles and killing methods, appeared to taper off by late 2004 or early 2005. Many of those crimes remain unsolved, and none are connected to the current case.
In this case, the victims' skeletal remains were found dumped in 2012 in fields in the Juarez valley, east of the city. The remains were so decomposed that authorities originally thought there were 12 victims. Most were young.
Prosecutors followed the trail of victims, many of who disappeared in 2009 or 2010 after having gone to apply for jobs at stores, to a hotel in Ciudad Juarez where the women were apparently held and forced to work as prostitutes. The culprits allegedly them when they became troublesome.