UT-El Paso students shot, killed in violence-ridden Ciudad Juárez

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Two University of Texas at El Paso students were shot and killed in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, as they were traveling through the violence-wracked city, where U.S. officials estimate that 2,300 people were killed last year.

The two business students — Manuel Acosta, 25, and Eder Diaz, 23, — were driving in a Nissan Sentra with Texas plates when they were attacked. Mexican police said assailants fired 36 shots in the attack, hitting the students multiple times.

Acosta died in the car Tuesday night and Diaz died the next morning in a Juárez hospital.

“American students are advised that the violence occurs on a daily basis on the other side of the border,” said Steve Lazarin, a spokesman for UT-El Paso. “Ever since the [violence] started, it’s deterred a lot of students from going across the border.”

The fear that violence could spill over from Mexico into Texas was a central issue in the last gubernatorial campaign. Gov. Rick Perry has ordered the federal government to deploy more troops and resources to the Texas/Mexico border.