JUAREZ, Mexico, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon apologized to parents for his comments suggesting recent killings of teens were part of a confrontation between drug gangs.
However, at least five women meeting with Calderon in Juarez Thursday, some of them mothers of the victims, turned their backs to the president, participants told The Dallas Morning News.
Calderon's visit to the border city came 12 days after gunmen killed 15 people, mostly high school and college students celebrating a birthday at a home, the Morning News reported Friday. Several top officials, including Calderon, suggested the people were targeted because of a gang affiliation, which later was discounted.
"I gave the parents my most heartfelt apologies if any of my words offended them or the memory of their children," Calderon said. "Let me be clear ... they were exemplary teens, athletes, students, good students, the type of kids we all wish others would be."
One woman, an aunt of two of the victims, said Calderon's apology was a "start in the process to clear the name of the boys and bring them justice."
So far, police have identified three men as having taken part in the massacre.