Juárez murders up for 1st time since drug war - Albuquerque Journal

Juárez murders up for 1st time since drug war

CIUDAD JUÁREZ – The murder toll in this border city is expected to rise this year for the first time since the waning days of a bloody drug war five years ago.

A spike in homicides between July and October will push the city’s murder rate to more than 500 for the year despite a decline in murders in the last two months, according to statistics from the Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office.a01_jd_26dec_juarez

Homicides in the city had fallen each year since 2010 to an eight-year low in 2015, below the 500 mark.

Forty-five miles south of Las Cruces, this gritty town was known mostly for its assembly factories that produce goods destined for the U.S. market – printer cartridges, computers, refrigerators, auto parts and medical devices – until it became infamous as the most violent city in the world.

Between 2008 and 2011, rival criminal organizations – the Sinaloa and Juárez cartels – battled for control of lucrative drug trafficking routes and plunged the city into murderous chaos.

Monthly homicides in the metropolitan area surged to more than 350 at the peak of the violence in 2010, when the annual murder toll topped 3,600, according to the state prosecutor’s office.

Law enforcement on both sides of the border attribute the midyear spike in homicides to several factors.

Elections in July ushered in new city and state governments. New political parties at both levels took office in October – which in Mexico can mean a significant vacuum of power.

“We had a considerable spike in crime in October, especially in execution-style murders,” said Jorge Nava López, Chihuahua’s top prosecutor in Ciudad Juárez. “Organized crime does take advantage of the vacuum of power that exists during that month when there is a transition in government. That is real. The justice system keeps working, but there are no leaders in the structure.”

Criminal organizations continue to operate on both sides of the border but carry out the bulk of their violence on the Mexican side, where institutions are not as strong. Law enforcement and other experts say gangs are fighting not just for control of the plaza, but also for the local drug market.

“Some of the violence going on is still the Sinaloa and Juárez cartels in battles,” said Will Glaspy, special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in West Texas and New Mexico. “Some of it is possibly due to methamphetamine being distributed in Ciudad Juárez. Some of that we think, too, is infighting within the Juárez cartel.”

Molly Molloy, a research librarian and border specialist at New Mexico State University, for years has documented trends in violence in Ciudad Juárez.

When something happens, like a spate of gang fights, the consequences are exacerbated by the city’s fundamental flaws, she said: the lack of rule of law, adequate infrastructure, education, housing and good-paying jobs.

“Violence hits a place like Juárez hard because it’s extremely vulnerable,” she said.

Home » News » Crime » Juárez murders up for 1st time since drug war


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
TOP OF MIND: What do you think of the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Click here to tell us: ... Click here to tell us: What do you think of the decision to implement forest-wide closures in Santa Fe and Carson national forests ...
2
Amazon, Universal series 'Primo' to film in ABQ
ABQnews Seeker
Shea Serrano has made a name ... Shea Serrano has made a name for himself as a journalist and as an author. His latest TV series project, 'Primo,' is currently filming ...
3
Executive order aims to lighten teachers’ administrative burden
ABQnews Seeker
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an ... Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order Monday directing the Public Education Department to reduce the administrative burden on teachers and school administrators ...
4
Lujan Grisham: Feds liable for wildfire damage
ABQnews Seeker
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Monday ... Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Monday that the federal government faces significant legal liability for its role in igniting the largest wildfire in state ...
5
Kiwanis Club is looking for the next voice of ...
ABQnews Seeker
Got a voice filled with gloom? ... Got a voice filled with gloom? The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe want you to be front and center at this year's 98th Annual ...
6
La Montañita to open near IPCC
ABQnews Seeker
La Montañita Food Co-op is on ... La Montañita Food Co-op is on the move. The locally owned grocery co-op is the latest tenant of the Avanyu Plaza, which is part ...
7
Report: Top Southern Baptists stonewalled sex abuse victims
ABQnews Seeker
The Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee ... The Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee -- and thousands of its rank-and-file members -- now have opportunities to address a scathing investigative report that ...
8
Are police consent decrees an asset? Depends on who ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Minneapolis Police Department will face ... The Minneapolis Police Department will face the intense scrutiny of a federal program after a state investigation spurred by the killing of George Floyd ...
9
APD: 5 teens charged in woman's death
ABQnews Seeker
Police issue warrants on murder, believe ... Police issue warrants on murder, believe shooting was case of mistaken identity