Mexican Police Capture Leader of Juárez Cartel

April 20, 2015

4/19/2015 New York Times

handcuffsMexican officials said Sunday that they had captured a leader of the Juárez Cartel, Jesús Salas Aguayo, the man in charge of the gang’s operations in Ciudad Juárez during a convulsion of violence that made the city one of the world’s most murderous.

Mr. Salas, 38, was arrested Friday in the town of Villa Ahumada, about 80 miles south of the Texas border, Mexico’s national security commissioner told reporters Sunday. Mr. Salas took over the cartel’s leadership this year after the arrests of its boss, Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, last October and his replacement, David Aaron Espinoza Haro, in January, the commissioner said.

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In Mexico, Ciudad Juarez reemerging from grip of violence

May 5, 2014

cuidad juarezLA Times, 5/4/14

Angel Corral is in many ways the new face of a city long known for its criminal gangsters and one of the world’s highest homicide rates. At 29, with pale green eyes and a can-do spirit, Corral is riding Ciudad Juarez’s return to life, running three nightclubs and investing in a gym. Where all his money comes from is not exactly clear, but no one seems to be asking questions.

The reasons for the border town’s revival are also unclear, and the uplift could well prove short-lived. But there is no question that homicides have declined precipitously and that shuttered businesses are reopening. As the city climbs out of the depths of despair, Corral and a host of other residents — including returning exiles — are jumping aboard.

Just a couple of years ago, Gomez Morin Boulevard, at the commercial heart of Juarez, had become a ghost town, like much of the city just across the Rio Grande from El Paso. Drug, extortion and kidnapping gangs ran amok, fighting turf wars and terrorizing rich and poor. Today, much of the city, including the boulevard where the bar is located, is bustling, replete with signs saying “Now open” outside restaurants, casinos, spas and yoga studios.

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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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