HomeNewsAnalysisOne Third of 2010 Homicides Occurred Along U.S.-Mex Border
ANALYSIS

One Third of 2010 Homicides Occurred Along U.S.-Mex Border

HOMICIDES / 21 FEB 2011 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

After a bloody weekend in Ciudad Juarez, a new analysis of government statistics sheds light on the patterns of violence along Mexico’s northern border, “ground zero” in the country’s war on organized crime.

In the latest wave of violence to strike Ciudad Juarez, fifty-three people, including at least four police officers, were killed within a 72 hour period, according to CNN. Arturo Sandoval, the spokesperson for the Chihuahua state attorney general went so far as to call this weekend the “worst violence of the year.”

Ciudad Juarez is the site of one of the most bitter feuds between Mexican cartels, as both the Juarez and Sinaloa organizations are currently battling for control of the city. The two groups were once allied, and cooperated in attacks against their rivals, the Gulf Cartel. However, the Sinaloa boss, Joaquin Guzman, alias 'El Chapo,' broke his pact with Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, alias 'El Viceroy,' of the Juarez cartel in 2004, killing Vicente's brother Rodolfo and sparking the conflict that is still playing out today.

In response to the recent wave of homicides, Juarez Mayor Hector Murguia is expected to name a new city police chief on Monday. Although it is unclear who he has chosen, the Heraldo de Chihuahua newspaper reported on Sunday that Julián Leyzaola, the Tijuana police commissioner who conducted a massive overhaul of the city’s security forces, is a likely contender.

The city is just one flash point of the border region. As a recent report by Mexico’s Excelsior shows, nearly a third of all crime-related homicides in 2010 occurred in just 37 municipalities located in the six northern states that border the United States (Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas).

Although the 37 municipalities identified in the Excelsior investigation only represent 1.5 percent of the total number of such divisions in the country, they account for 10,203 of the 34,162 drug-related deaths that have occurred since President Felipe Calderon took office four years ago. The figure comes from an official government database, which catalogs all drug-related killings from December 2006 to December 2010.

The report also notes that “nine out of ten murders that occurred in the northern border took place in municipalities governed by the PRI,” a clear jab at the corrupt legacy of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional - PRI), which held power in the country until 2000, when it lost the presidential election for the first time in more than 70 years.

Last year's uptick in borderland violence has caused Felipe Calderon’s to announce deployment of four new army battalions to Mexico’s northeast this week. Ultimately, however, this may not result in an immediate increase in security. As a recent statistical analysis by noted sociologist and crime analyst Fernando Escalante shows, the homicide rate spiked in places where Calderon deployed the military in 2010. He argues that the arrival of army troops to these areas only served to intensify the conflict with criminal elements, and did not make people living in these areas any safer. If Escalante is correct, the residents of the embattled border region may have reason to be less optimistic about the prospects for violence this year.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EL SALVADOR / 25 JAN 2022

When strolling through Las Margaritas, a neighborhood of over 15,000 people in the city of Soyapango, El Salvador, crossing paths…

JALISCO CARTEL / 3 SEP 2021

Criminal groups in Mexico are posting in public lists of police they plan to kill, and the message often comes…

EL MENCHO / 18 NOV 2021

The arrest of the wife of CJNG boss El Mencho is being interpreted as a win against the cartel and…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…