The authorities of the State of Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez say it is not the most violent city in the world. That honor now falls to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, or in some areas of Rio or Caracas, who knows. The killings have gone from over 3,000 in 2010 to 2,000 last year and the trend continues downward. A new governor, the presence of federal police in the past year and a half billions of federal government investment and the mobilization of its people have contributed.
However, local journalists attribute the drop in the number of homicides to a very simple reason: the Sinaloa cartel, headed by Joaquin, El Chapo Guzman, has imposed on the remnants of the Juarez cartel, which was founded 20 years ago by Armando Carrillo Fuentes, the Lord of Heaven, named for the air fleet which came to move cocaine to the U.S..
But what happened to the city of tame Indians met by the Spanish Franciscans, the liberals of Benito Juarez, the Apaches of the skirmishes, and raids of Pancho Villa became the turn of the century in the capital world of crime?
Ciudad Juarez is impressive it has a special vibe as the Mexicans say. A vast expanse of flat land urbanized until the eye with buildings that do not exceed two floors. West and north the limit and the border mountains on the south, the desert. On the dusty streets, not always paved and poorly lit, rusting cars without number plates, stunning Suburban or Explorer trucks tinted windows and pickups of police patrols. Do not walk on them handsome and tough like Benicio del Toro and talking softly with his eyes closed, but teens fucking dwarf, poor and probably armed. Actually no walks. Juarez does not invite the stranger nothing, puts to the test.
It is the great backyard of El Paso, Texas, paradoxically, the most peaceful city in the U.S… On this side separates the Rio Grande, because once had floods and floods, and is now a dry moat. On the other, the Rio Grande is green and channeled peers. Three bridges cross the international office, where thousands of vehicles take more than hour and a half to travel to a crawl just 500 meters. In the main, before arriving at the poster you like “Bon Voyage”, a cross on a pink background and a small sign at the bottom that says “No More!” Reminiscent of the more than 1,200 women killed, shot, raped, tortured, beheaded and dismembered in the last 20 years.
City border and femicide, was a woman, Ignacia Jasso, the Nacha, which began in the late twenties of last century smuggling drugs north. Marijuana and heroin flowed naturally to the hearts of the soldiers gringos. La Nacha, with the help of his man, Pablote, a couple of legend, he mastered the business without serious mishaps over 50 years.
Juarez then began to change. In the mid-sixties came the maquilas, the factories of components that dominate half of the territory, today converted into a symbol of labor exploitation. Men and women, especially women, in southern Chihuahua found work in them.
The new and the old smuggling industry filled the pockets of the city, but there was still worse to come.
The signing of the FTA with the U.S. in 1993, born the same year as the Juarez cartel, another paradox was much bigger business. Flashes of this unlikely Eldorado came to southern Mexico. Thousands of women traveled there in search of jobs they had lost in the field. The city received 100,000 new residents a year, the population doubled in a decade to almost a million and a half now, as fast growing real estate speculation. But only awaited the mob, not of course public services. They found a swamp of impunity in which criminals and corrupt police officials imposed by law. There were many weapons, drugs and money. Killing was very easy and almost impossible to be punished for. It was born a Factory of crime as his indispensable book titled journalist Sandra Rodriguez. Homicides increased from year to year from 55 to 120.
Thousands of gang members, i.e., “who at the age of 17,” wrote Magda as Coss Nogueda in Arms trafficking in Mexico, “have already chosen which song they want to be buried”, became killers. Came the Aztecs, the Mexicles, assassins Murderers, named for their origin graffiti, and Line, the group of agents working for the cartel.
And here came Chapo. From 2007 and especially 2008 the Sinaloa cartel began to dispute the Juarez plaza. Murderers for hire were recruited, as armed guards who divided, bribed and threatened his opponents, public officials and infiltrated the police as part of organized crime.
A wave of betrayal and revenge spread through the city, the settling of scores made some months exceeded the 200 murders. The drug war would leave thousands of dead and missing in the streets in mass graves in the desert. Now, that wheel of death begins to stop. The sun begins to set on the big stage of the crime.
- Murders down in Mexico’s Juarez (bbc.co.uk)