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(NYT43) CHIHUAHUA, Mexico -- Sept. 25, 2005 -- JUAREZ-MURDERS-3 -- V’ctor Javier Garc’a of Ciudad Juarez confessed, under torture, to being a serial killer. His case has since been thrown out. Garcia in Chihuahua, Mexico in July 2005. 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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