Thursday, 03 March 2011

Juarez, Mexico Murder Rate Up 40 Percent

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An analysis of crime statistics provided by has found that violence just across the southern border of the United States is increasing at a terrifying rate. In fact, the murder rate in Ciudad Juarez increased 40 percent in February 2011 over the same month the previous year: A total of 229 people in the city were executed in just one month, up from 163 in the same time period in 2010.

As Kelly Holt reported previously for The New American, Juarez, Mexico is actually a more dangerous place to live than Afghanistan — the veritable case study in systemic violence. As Holt wrote:

Anti-government elements are also responsible for much of the violence in Juarez, a city across the border from El Paso, Texas. According to Mexico’s 2010 census, the city is home to 1,328,017 residents, while Afghanis number 29,121,286, reports the CIA World Factbook. That means a civilian was 30 times more likely to be murdered last year in Juarez than in Afghanistan.

Not only is the murder rate on the rise, but women are increasingly the victims, now accounting for over 10 percent of those slain in Mexico’s gang-related violence.

According to, the actual statistics demonstrate that claims by the Mexican government that the murder rate is decreasing in Ciudad Juarez are patently false. Furthermore, not all of the killings are directly related to the conflicts between rival gangs, or between the gangs and the government:

Even the number of people killed last month was slightly higher than the 222 individuals who lost their lives in attacks in January 2011, which contradicts the official version ... that the city's violent trend is going down.

February was sadly very tough on females, with at least 36 of the murders committed against members of that population, according to the daily newspaper count and official government data. The deadly attacks committed in February also showed the existence of another phenomenon: the killing of individuals completely unrelated to activities linked to drug trafficking or organized gangs, which include killings during a kidnapping, extortion or an auto theft....

Officials of the Office of Justice Northern Zone, during their research, established that at least 5 percent of those killed were at the wrong place at the wrong time. During February 2011, following the official estimate, there were a total of 11 people killed that were unrelated to and without premeditation by organized criminals.

As reported last November for The New American, the murderous activities of Mexico’s gangs are rarely punished; in fact, 98.5 percent of violent crimes are never punished in a court of law. The unrestrained spiral of murder and mayhem underscores the recent plea by several Arizona sheriffs whose departments are on the frontline of the flow of criminals across the U.S.-Mexico border; in the words of Cochise County Sheriff Larry A. Dever: “Get the military on the border, and get them there now.”

Photo: Crosses erected as a monument to victims of the Juárez homicides.

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