Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, the world’s most violent city?

August 28, 2009

By Julian CardonaCiudad Juarez, a Mexican town on the U.S. border where daylight murders and beheaded bodies have become the norm, could be the world’s most violent city.

With 130 murders for every 100,000 residents per year on average last year, the city of 1.6 million people is more violent than the Venezuelan capital Caracas, the U.S. city of New Orleans and Colombia’s Medellin. That is according to a study by the Mexican non-profit Citizen Council for Public Security and Justice, which presented its report to Mexico’s security minister at a conference this week.

The fight between rival drug cartels over Ciudad Juarez’s local drug market and smuggling routes into the United States broke out at the start of last year and continues to intensify.Reliable global crime statistics are hard to pin down and a study last year by Foreign Policy Magazine placed Caracas as the world’s top murder capital, also with 130 murders per 100,000 residents. (The Mexican study disputes that and puts the Caracas figure at 96).But Ciudad Juarez’s rising murder rate, currently at about 250 per month, appears to put it well ahead of other notorious world crime capitals such as South Africa’s Cape Town, Moscow, Baghdad, and Papua New Guinea’s capital Port Moresby, according to the Mexican and Foreign Policy studies.In fact, in Ciudad Juarez during the first day of the conference where the Mexican study was presented, eight people were murdered in the city’s streets, including a prosecutor, a lawyer, two policewomen, a clown performer and a gardener.Ciudad Juarez, a manufacturing city across from El Paso, Texas, already has a stained history with the unsolved murders of hundreds of young women in the 1990s.Perhaps most worryingly is not that 10,000 troops and elite police stationed there have failed to stop the drug violence, but that local officials say they have everything under control.Ciudad Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz says the city’s fight against drug violence is “a successful process that the world can learn from.” Chihuahua state Governor Jose Reyes Baez, who has long bemoaned the media focus on drug violence in Ciudad Juarez, says that troops can gradually leave as newly-trained police take over. The army denies any scaling back in its deployment.


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Does the Gov’t. of the United States really want to stop the trafficing of drugs into the country? Wouldn’t it have been better to spend the billions used for cash for clunkers on the war against drugs. Maybe our Senators and Congresspeople could give up their private jets, expensive health insurance, and other perks and use the money toward fighting illegal drugs. If drug addits anonymous had their own special interest group to pursuade elected officials to stop drug trafficing, maybe it would become more important. Lets dare our elected officials to close the boarders between Mexico and the U.S. To impose greater consequences to those who are caught crossing the boarder. Drug Smugglers should be subject to the death penalty and illegal drug smugglers should be denied the rights afforded to U.S. citizens. There are many ways the Gov’t could get serious about stopping drug trafficing, but they choose not too. Instead they continue to put the fire out on a tree here and there instead of saving the forest. When the U.S. gets serious about closing our boaders and stopping drug trafficing then Beautiful Mexico will become a safer more properous country.

Posted by M. Sullivan | Report as abusive

Something about this smells iffy and it’s very badly researched. According to officvial sources of whom there doesn’t even appear to BE any murder rstatistics for Juarez in ’08, there were less murders in CHIHUAHUA STATE last year than the figures being bandied about in media reports for the state capital.As it stands, Caracas based on 2007 (’2008′ figures aren’t even out for that city) unqestionably has more murders and a higher rate than Juarez and New Orleans is much lower and shouldn’t even be on that list, 289 murders and 28 per 100,000 according to the FBI. No Honduran cities, only one Colombian and no Kingston, Jamaica. These are the places currently dominating the top positions for urban murder rates last year. Brazil, South Africa, other Central American countries aside from Honduras, complete US urban areas and Caracas don’t have 08 figures yet.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

“Clown performer”?

legalize drugs

I am a native of Juarez; I will tell you that anything that the Mexican government says is all B.S. First of all the problem started early last year when the Governor of Chihuahua, followed orders sent by the federal government (President of the Mexico Calderon) that the right to sell cocaine in the city were being transferred to someone else.This someone else is probably Chapo Guzman, I say this because it is common knowledge that Chapo is “compadre” of Calderon and he helped him become president.So the chiefs of the different law enforcement agencies (judicial estatal, AFI, policia municipal) were called in and were told that a change of “Plaza” (plaza is a term that describe someone’s sole ownership or right to sell drugs and commit murder with 100% support and protection from the different law enforcement agencies) was in effect. That is why at the beginning most of the killings affected high ranking law enforcement members. The military was sent by Calderon, and I thought that things were going to change, but I guess the drug cartel known as “la linea” headed by J.L (I think he recently got killed) has too many law enforcement officials that are not following the governor’s orders. This is one reason why the local cops no longer carry guns, but instead have soldiers accompany them.Well I think that the soldiers and federal agents are once again protecting the drug dealers. I say this because the dope houses, which are very obvious, opened up for business once again and police are always near to protect them.Most of the killing that are happening know are because the guys from the “linea” think that the rival cartel is operating in the city. I doubt it, Because if you get caught with a cocaine package with the wrong label, the police will kidnap you, torture you to find out were you bought it, and then dispose of your body like if you were a dog…Go to yahoo videos and type Juarez, J.L. execuciones.

Posted by David Camacho | Report as abusive

It seems that everyone here has a theory to sell.Anyone who knows too much would know too much…

The US is the country with more drug addicts in the entire world and Mexicos economy is weak. You do the math!

Posted by david | Report as abusive

Between 1993 and 2001 in Ciudad Juarez over 600 women we’re believed to have been abducted, raped, tortured and murdered, some as young as 12. The mexican authoroties we’re most likely involved with the murders which is why scape goats were used when questions were raised about the unsolved cases. This year so far, 30 women have gone missing. They’re all similar ages and of similar appearance. The governemnt still denies that there is a problem!! It’s believe that drug cartels kill these women as part of initiation and celebration. Something has to be done!!

Posted by Hollie Price | Report as abusive

If the US really wanted to stop the drug violence in Mexico, the US should legalize drugs all together

Posted by fern | Report as abusive