Through the shattered glass one can still see the bloodstains that tell the tragic stories of each vehicle and its occupants – the men, women and children whose bodies became the center of violent crime scenes.
Located at the 25 km marker of the Panamerican Highway outside Ciudad Juarez, the state government’s field has become a junkyard, a vehicle graveyard. Laid out in rows, the vehicles are painted with their date of arrival as well as the number 39, police code for “death,” on their windshields.
The state prosecutor’s office says there are more than 2,000 vehicles in the yard, ranging from new luxury models to old junk. They are kept here for as long as the investigation into each crime lasts with most of them never claimed by the victims’ families, probably because of the memories that each one invokes. Among them are many police cars.
Bullet holes are visible from top to bottom, from the windshields to the bodies and chassis. Some have just a few but others are completely riddled, destroyed by the spray of so many bullets. Workers in the yard say they often hear sounds at night, and sense strange emissions when they walk between the rows. Some months or years later, after the investigations are concluded, they are finally auctioned off to businesses that buy and sell parts.
In the meantime, more and more vehicles are brought here, product of and witness to the stories that tell about the most violent years of Ciudad Juarez.