A new massacre is reported from Ciudad Juárez, again raising fears of a return to the wave of deadly gangland violence that convulsed the Mexican border city for much of the past decade. Eight members of a single family -- including two four-year-old girls and a six-year-old boy -- were killed in their home Nov. 17 in the colonia (neighborhood) of Morelos Zaragoza. The bodies of the children were found on their beds with multiple stab wounds as were those of two young women. The two men were on armchairs, handcuffed and gagged. A two-month-old baby, known to have lived in the house, was not found among the dead. The family had been planning an event for their Jehovah's Witnesses congregation when the attack took place.

No perpetrators or motive have been named in the attack. Nor have any been determined in that massacre of 10 youths at a house party in a Juárez suburb in September. Along with the blood-drenched turf war between the Juárez and Sinaloa cartels over the years, Ciudad Juárez has also seen plenty of simply "senseless" violence -- as in the wave of "femicide" that has left hundreds of seemingly random women dead, their bodies dumped in the desert outside town. Clearly, the relentless violence of the cartel turf wars created an atmosphere in which human life was generally devalued.

As does the "normal" functioning of Ciudad Juárez's maquiladora economy. Just two weeks before the Morelos Zaragoza massacre, an explosion at a candy factory in the city's industrial ring left two workers dead and at least 50 injured. But because this was an industrial "accident" rather than a narco-massacre, it failed to win English-language headlines.