The killings don’t stop in Ciudad Juarez


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Drug-related violence continues to consume Ciudad Juarez in northern Mexico, just across the border from El Paso. Last Thursday’s toll of 25 killed over a three-hour period rattled a city that is already accustomed to numerous deaths a day.

It was the highest single-day toll recorded in the border city since the violence erupted there more than two years ago. Victims in Thursday’s shootings range in age from 15 to 67. They were mostly ambushed inside their homes, reports the El Paso Times.


Ciudad Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz said the killings were believed to be acts of retaliation by the Juarez cartel for an alleged kidnapping of a child by the rival Sinaloa cartel. What’s not clear is what all those victims had to do with the alleged kidnapping.

The El Paso Times article gives details on some of the crime scenes and names the victims, the kind of information that becomes rarer each day in Mexican news reports on the country’s violence. In Juarez, mounting death figures have become mostly anonymous numbers for the city of 1.3 million. According to librarian Molly Molloy, who keeps a running tally of drug-related violence in the city, five people were killed Friday, five more were killed Saturday, 14 were killed Sunday, and eight were killed Monday.

See this profile on Molloy’s work in the Wall Street Journal. Molloy’s tallies rely heavily on the reporting by the Juarez newspaper El Diario. Here’s its local news section, which carries daily detailed reports on the killings. Slayings are so common in the city now that in August the paper felt compelled to report that a period of 26 hours had passed without a death (link in Spanish).

The Juarez and Sinaloa cartels have been fighting an all-out war over the lucrative Juarez-El Paso border-trafficking route that has claimed more than 6,500 lives since January 2008. By one tally, reported in the Journal, more people were killed in Juarez in 2009 -- 2,633 -- than in eight major U.S. cities combined.

This afternoon, El Diario reports, three Juarez women were ambushed in a home and shot to death (link in Spanish). A baby girl was found inside the home, unharmed.

When, and how, will it end?

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City