Financial Times, 3/14/2009
There is no curfew yet in Ciudad Juárez, a bleak and sprawling border city in Mexico’s northern desert, but the atmosphere is distinctly reminiscent of martial law.
Masked federal policeman roadblocks on the main streets. At the border crossings, soldiers with automatic rifles search cars entering from El Paso, Texas.
The heavy military presence is the latest response of the administration of Felipe Calderón, the president, to a rise in drug-related violence that has turned Juárez into just about the most dangerous place on Earth. Last month, more civilians were murdered in the city of 1.6m than in Baghdad.