Although violence in Ciudad Juarez is at its lowest levels recorded since 2008, the good news doesn’t seem to be making it into the headlines.
During the years 2008 – 2010 newspapers, as well visual media news outlets, trumpeted seemingly incessant headlines on the subject of the level of violence that had been plaguing the city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. At that time, El Paso’s sister city was included in the ranks of the most crime riddled metropolis in the America’s, if not in the world. Today, in 2014, as violence in Ciudad Juarez steadily decreases, the news of an ameliorated security situation spreads at a much slower pace. This fact might give credence to the old adage that “bad news sells,” while good news often goes generally unnoticed.
As recently as July, Ciudad Juarez’s Mesa de Seguridad y Justicia, or Security and Justice Roundtable, reported that crime statistics during the first half of 2014 were the lowest recorded in the last six years. During the peak of drug related violence of Ciudad Juarez, in October of 2010, the city registered a stratospheric number of three hundred and fifty homicides. According to the trade journal “Juarez Now,” throughout 2010-11, the average number of individuals murdered during these difficult times, as a result of mainly drug-related violence in Ciudad, stood at two hundred and fifty.
At the time that Felipe Calderon vacated the Mexican presidency in 2012, loss of life related to drug cartel fueled violence in Mexico totaled approximately sixty thousand individuals. Two years later both the national situation, as well as the indices of violence in Ciudad Juarez have moved in a noticeably and measurably positive direction. Organized crime related deaths in the entirety of the Mexican Republic registered a high of approximately forty-five hundred homicides at the height of Mexican drug violence during the period April – June 2011. The Mexico City-based public policy consulting firm, Lantia Consultores, S.A., reported that this number had been reduced to just under two thousand during the same period of the present year. Among specific Mexican cities, violence in Ciudad Juarez has abated at an especially accelerated pace. Whereas crime-related deaths that were registered in the third quarter of 2010 numbered seven hundred and eighty- seven, narcotics trade related and other crime-linked deaths numbered only twenty-nine during June of the present calendar year.
According to the editorial staff of the trade magazine, “Juarez – El Paso Now,” current statistics “reveal that the number of homicides during the past two years has held steady at thirty-five per one hundred thousand residents in Ciudad Juarez.” To put violence in Ciudad Juarez in its proper perspective, this compares with fifty-four murders per one hundred thousand inhabitants in Detroit and fifty-three per one hundred thousand residents in New Orleans, Louisiana. In the most recent issue of Juarez-El Paso Now it is reported that the goal of Ciudad Juarez’s Security and Justice Roundtable is to take measures so that the homicide rate per one hundred thousand residents drops to fifteen. This number reflects those reported by U.S. cities such as Cincinnati and Washington, D.C. and states such as Wisconsin.
The abatement of violence in Ciudad Juarez is good news for the citizens living and businesses that are in operation there. It’s also great news for potential foreign investors in Ciudad Juarez, and the whole of Mexico.
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Latest crime report from the Mesa de Justicia y Seguridad de Ciudad Juarez (Spanish).
Photo Credits: sari dennise