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(NYT41) CHIHUAHUA, Mexico -- Sept. 25, 2005 -- JUAREZ-MURDERS -- A tribute to dead or missing girls in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005, includes Neyra Azucena Cervantes, center, whose mother has suspicions about her case. International observers, human rights workers and federal authorities say there has been a disturbing pattern of malfeasance by state law enforcement authorities responsible for investigating Mexico's most gruesome murder mystery: the deaths of more than 350 women in this border area over the last decade, including at least 90 raped and killed in similar ways. Whether through incompetence, corruption or a lurid connection to the killings, the bungling and cover-ups are so extensive, federal investigators say, that the police and other officials have themselves become suspected of links to the crimes. (Christ Chavez/The New York Times)

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