Los Angeles Times, 12/19/2008
It is a time of extraordinary violence all over Mexico. Feuding drug-trafficking groups and the federal government’s military crackdown against organized crime have left 5,376 dead this year. Nowhere has the bloodletting been worse than in Ciudad Juarez, a sprawling border city that has registered more than 1,350 slayings in 2008, about a fourth of the country’s total. The city’s main drug-smuggling group, known as the Juarez cartel, is battling with rival traffickers from the northwestern state of Sinaloa for a piece of the lucrative drug trade into the U.S.
The gangland-style violence has left almost no corner of Ciudad Juarez untouched. The dead, mostly little-known foot soldiers but also innocents caught in the crossfire, make up a ceaseless procession of clients for harried coroner’s workers and daily fodder for the so-called red pages of local newspapers.