Showing posts sorted by relevance for query ciudad juarez. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query ciudad juarez. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, June 25, 2011

ciudad juarez: murder capital of the world

Video - Faultlines documentary on the war on drugs - life is cheap in Juarez.

aljazeera | "People in Amsterdam aren't stuffing headless bodies in the trunk of a car, or hanging dead bodies from bridges," he tells Al Jazeera, an image seen far too often in Mexico.

Al Jazeera's Faultlines explores the violent effects of the 'War on Drugs' on the Mexico-US border region

The city of Juarez, on the border of El Paso, Texas, sees about 3,000 murders every year - no thanks to tight drug policies, says Gibler.

"Illegality has done nothing to stop [the violence], but has done the opposite - fuelling it by creating the profit margins associated with that much wealth," he told Al Jazeera.

Charles Bowden, an investigative journalist and author of Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields, told Al Jazeera's Faultlines : "If you want to know one of the biggest causes of death in Mexico, it is the American drug prohibition."

"Al-Qaeda couldn't do to Juarez what the US government's done," he added.

Beyond sky-high murder rates, Gibler told Al Jazeera that border violence stemming from the drug war has an ugly and much deeper reach.

"The rate of almost every other kind of violent crime in Mexico has shot up, which is because of two things. On the one hand it's the drug trafficking organisations expanding into other areas. On the other hand, it's a result of this overwhelming climate of impunity, where people think that they can get away with it; and so many times, the cops are actually or tangentially involved [in the murders]."

In a country where, according to a confidential 2010 report turned over to the Mexican Senate by the Attorney General, only five per cent of murders are investigated, "it issues a kind of post-mortem death sentence, [where] anyone who ends up dead on the street corner is guilty of their own murder", said Gibler.

Given the level of violence, decriminalising small-scale possession or even sales would probably not affect a major difference in Mexico's border region.

Alternatively, Gibler suggests all-in parameters for curbing violence.

"Decriminalisation can't just be at the end point for the users, but it needs to somehow have a regulation package that recognises the entire industry."

Friday, February 20, 2009

calderon vows to press on...,

Washington Post | Mexican President Felipe Calderón on Thursday defended the deployment of the military in his fight against drug cartels, vowing that the army would continue to patrol cities until the country's weakened and often-corrupt police forces were retrained and able to do the job themselves.

In a speech commemorating the founding of the Mexican army, Calderón suggested that drug bosses had paid marchers who took to the streets this week to protest the army's presence in a dozen cities, where soldiers man roadblocks, search houses and make frequent arrests.

Calderón, who has sent more than 45,000 troops to fight the cartels, said the military would remain on patrol until the government had control of the most violent parts of the country and civil authorities were fully able "to confront this evil." Only then, he said, "will the army have completed its mission."

Turf battles involving the drug traffickers, who are fighting the army, police and one another in order to secure billion-dollar smuggling routes into the United States, took the lives of more than 6,000 people in Mexico last year. The pace of killing has continued in 2009, with more than 650 dead, most in the violent border cities of Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana. In the past few days, a running gun battle between soldiers and gunmen through the streets of the northern city of Reynosa, captured live on television, left five people dead. In Ciudad Juarez, the assistant chief of the city police department was ambushed Tuesday and assassinated with three other officers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

los ni nis

Time | Mexican media talk about a new category known as los ni nis or "neither nors" — young people who neither work nor study. There is a heated debate here about how many ni nis there are. Mexico's National University claims there are several million, although the government retorts that there are only a few hundred thousand.

One of the largest populations of ni nis is in Ciudad Juarez, considered by many to be the most murderous city on the planet. A recent report financed by the government found that 120,000 Juarez residents between the ages of 13 and 24 — or 45% of the population — were in neither formal work nor school. Many live in slums spreading up hills on the west side of the city, home to workers in the struggling assembly plant industry. On a visit to the Juarez west side earlier this year, I heard young people relate how criminal cartels are one of the only organizations that offer them work. That mafia will now pay a young person $1,000 per trip if he or she smuggles drugs over the border; the youths say the drug gangs will fork over as little as $100 for someone to carry out an assassination. Sandra Ramirez, a social worker in the slums, confirmed these alarming numbers. "It is only them [the cartels] that are coming to these kids and offering them anything," she says. "They offer them money, cell phones and guns to protect themselves. You think these kids are going to refuse? They have nothing to lose. They only see the day to day. They know they could die and they say so. But they don't care. Because they have lived this way all their lives."

Sunday, January 09, 2011

just another day of barbarism in the empire...,

Video - Univision coverage of the arrest of child assassin El Ponchis and his sister.

aljazeera | Police found the bodies of 15 slain men, 14 of them decapitated, on a street outside a shopping centre in the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco.

Police in the southern state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, said on Saturday that handwritten signs were left with the bodies, a common calling card of Mexico's cartels.

Acapulco has seen bloody turf battles between drug gangs in recent years.

"On the sidewalk of the Plaza Senderos shopping centre were the decapitated bodies of 15 males, between 25 and 30 years of age," said the police report.

"The heads were found in one single place, with the exception of one that was half severed from the body and with an impact of a projectile from a firearm."

It was the largest single group of decapitation victims found in recent years. In 2008, a group of 12 decapitated bodies were piled outside the Yucatan state capital of Merida. The same year, nine headless men were found in the Guerrero state capital of Chilpancingo.

In keeping with a policy designed not to give the cartels publicity, state police did not release the text of the messages found with the bodies.

But Reforma newspaper reported that they referred to the Sinaloa cartel, headed by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Reforma said they apparently indicated the victims were killed by the Sinaloa cartel for trying to intrude on the gang's turf and extort residents.

Bloody turf war

Several Mexican states have become the focal point of turf wars between drug cartels who seem to take pride in the mounting body count their battles leave behind, sometimes displaying bodies, other times posting Youtube videos of their kills.

Guerrero, the southwestern state where Acapulco is located, is a stronghold of the notoriously bloody La Familia drug cartel, which is waging a war with the equally dangerous Zetas and its ally the Pacifico Sur.

The Pacifico Sur cartel has been blamed for the September 30 kidnapping of 20 Mexican tourists who are believed to have been mistaken for La Familia rivals. The tourists' bodies were unearthed a month later in a mass grave near Acapulco.

In November, one Mexican hitman boasted to Al Jazeera that he had lost track of how many people he'd killed as he travelled from city to city, carrying out hits for his boss.

And in December, the Mexican army arrested a 14-year-old US citizen nicknamed "El Ponchis" (or, "The Cloak") who allegedly worked as an assassin for the South Pacific Cartel, in the state of Morelos.

More than 600 people have been killed in the past year in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, where traffickers set up roadblocks in October, terrorising the general public.

And the state of Chihuahua is home the the city of Ciudad Juarez, known as a the country's murder capital, where over 2,000 people were murdered in 2010.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

marchers block US border to protest army presence

Associated Press | Hundreds of people blocked bridges to the United States in three border cities Tuesday, demanding the army leave in another challenge for the Mexican government as it struggles to quell escalating drug violence.

The protests in Ciudad Juarez blocked traffic for about two hours across three bridges connecting the city to El Paso, Texas. Similar protests broke out on bridges in the border cities of Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa. Demonstrators blocked city hall and a main avenue in the northern industrial city of Monterrey and roads in the Gulf state of Veracruz.

It was the largest display of discontent against the army's role in an anti-drug crackdown since President Felipe Calderon began deploying soldiers across the country two years ago to fight cartels. About 45,000 soldiers are now spread out across Mexico.

Government and army officials claimed that drug cartels organized similar protests in Monterrey earlier this month to undermine the crackdown. Federal officials had no immediate comment on Tuesday's protests.

Human rights activists say there are legitimate complaints about abuses by soldiers, including cases in which patrols allegedly opened fire on civilians at military checkpoints. But they say it is unclear who has been behind the demonstrations.

Calderon's offensive was initially widely popular among Mexicans hopeful for an end to relentless shootings, kidnappings and killings. But drug violence has only surged since then, with drug gangs beheading rivals and attacking police nearly every day. More than 6,000 people were killed in drug violence last year.

Border towns have been transformed by the crackdown, with soldiers in ski masks regularly rumbling down the streets in large convoys.