Todos Somos Juarez: An Innovative Strategy to Tackle Violence and Crime

February 11, 2014

Ciudad JuárezLatin American Policy Journal, 2013

In the last few years, Mexico has been living a very complex public security situation. For decades, criminal organizations were allowed to grow and gain strength, which seriously affected the lives of ordinary citizens in towns and cities across Mexico. But in few parts of the country had the situation reached such dramatic levels as in Ciudad Juarez. Crime and violence here grew systematically, due to three main factors: First, the expansion of criminal organizations as they diversified their main line of business from exporting illegal drugs to the U.S. to retail sales of drugs in Mexico. Second, was the weakness of local law enforcement agencies and third, a serious weakening of the social fabric.
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Ciudad Juárez, a Border City Known for Killing, Gets Back to Living

December 16, 2013

The New York Times, 12/14/2013

cuidad juarezWith violence down to a quarter of its peak, Ciudad Juárez, a perennial symbol of drug war devastation, is experiencing what many here describe as a boom. New restaurants pop up weekly, a few with a hipster groove. Schools and homes in some neighborhoods are gradually filling again, while new nightclubs throb on weekends with wall-to-wall teenagers and 20-somethings who insist on reclaiming the freedom to work and play without being consumed by worry.

Critics here fear that the changes are merely cosmetic, and there is still disagreement over what, exactly, has led to the drastic drop in violence. Some attribute it to an aggressive detention policy by the police; others say the worst killers have died or fled, or that the Sinaloa drug cartel has simply defeated its rivals, leaving a peace of sorts that could quickly be undone.

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Neighbors in Shock Over Massacre of Mexico Family

November 21, 2013

Catedral Ciudad Juarez by Flickr PhoelixThe New York Times, 11/21/2013

Grieving neighbors and friends are struggling to understand the horrific killing of eight members of a religious family, including three young children — a massacre that prosecutors in this Mexican border city say was over a $115 debt the father couldn’t repay.

About 150 people gathered Wednesday night at the Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Ciudad Juarez for the funeral service of four members of the family whose head, Maximo Romero Sanchez, worked as a mechanic and fixed and sold used cars.

Police Probe Dogfight Debt in Mexico Massacre

November 20, 2013

policeThe New York Times, 11/20/2013

Prosecutors have detained two suspects and are investigating dog-fighting debts as a possible motive in the stabbing massacre of eight members of a family in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez. Three young children were among those killed in the crime that has shocked the border community.

The chief prosecutor in the northern state of Chihuahua, Jorge Gonzalez Nicolas, said a third suspect has been identified and will likely be detained soon.

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Mexican officials find 8 dead, believed related, at home in northern city on border with Texas

November 18, 2013

El Paso and Juarez by Flickr user dherrera 96The New York Times, 11/17/2013

Investigators found the bodies of eight people at a home in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez on Sunday and said the dead were believed to be related.

The victims were found bound and appeared to have been stabbed to death, according to Chihuahua state prosecutors.

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Rights groups applaud Mexico’s top court for freeing man who claimed confession due to torture

November 8, 2013

Washington Post, 11/7/2013

Mexican Supreme CourtHuman rights groups hailed on Thursday a Mexican Supreme Court decision to free a man who claimed soldiers tortured him into confessing to having played a role in a drug-related massacre. The court ruled that 28-year-old Israel Arzate Melendez’s confession wasn’t valid because he talked to soldiers rather than prosecutors, as the law requires.

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Juarez: The sequel

November 4, 2013

Global Post, 11/1/13

ciudad juarezNot long ago, all headlines out of Ciudad Juarez screamed bloody drug war murder. Now something unexpected is happening in the Mexican border town. Homicides have plummeted. Some who fled have returned.

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3rd Person Dies in Mexico Border Factory Blast

October 28, 2013

ciudad-juarez-en-mexicoThe New York Times, 10/27/2013

A Chihuahua state attorney general’s spokesman says a third person has died from injuries in a candy factory explosion last week on Mexico’s border with the United States.

Arturo Sandoval says the 41-year-old employee of the factory Dulces Blueberry in Ciudad Juarez died late Saturday from third-degree burns that covered most of his body.

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Mexico sweet factory hit by deadly explosion

October 25, 2013

BBC News, 10/24/2013

fire by Flikr user Loving EarthAt least one person has died and dozens more are injured in an explosion and fire that tore through a sweet factory in northern Mexico. A boiler is believed to have exploded in the Dulces Blueberry factory at an industrial park in Ciudad Juarez, causing the ceiling to collapse. About 300 people were said to be in the factory at the time and several are still unaccounted for. Fire crews and about 30 ambulances were at the scene.

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In Mexico’s north, second mass shooting in a week leaves four dead

September 27, 2013

Monterrey-Nathaniel C. SheetzThe Washington Post, 9/26/2013

Four men were killed and five people seriously injured early Thursday at a bar outside the northern city of Monterrey when assailants burst in and opened fire on patrons, officials with the state government of Nuevo Leon said. The shooting in the Monterrey suburb of Santa Catarina comes a little more than three days after gunmen killed 10 people, including a young girl, at a party celebrating the victory of a baseball team near the border city of Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua.

The killings are sure to unnerve security officials in the two northern states, as well as their federal counterparts in Mexico City. Earlier this month, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cited Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon as success stories in his government’s effort to restore peace in the nation, noting that homicides had declined in those states by 37.2% and 46.5%, respectively, since he took office in December.

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