HomeNewsAnalysisUS Documentary Looks at Juarez’s ‘8 Murders a Day’
ANALYSIS

US Documentary Looks at Juarez’s ‘8 Murders a Day’

HOMICIDES / 24 JAN 2011 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

An upcoming documentary by a U.S. filmmaker pledges to look at the human side of the record violence hitting Ciudad Juarez, a border city which has become the epicenter of Mexico’s drug war. “8 Murders a Day,” directed and produced by independent filmmaker Charles Minn, is opening in select theaters in Texas and Arizona in February.

According to the film’s website, Minn interviews college professors, local journalists and authors to put the Juarez violence in context, most likely for a U.S. audience with limited knowledge of the conflict.

Minn has called the city’s soaring homicide rates “the greatest human rights disaster in our world today.” The film takes its title from the daily murder rate registered in Juarez last year: 3,111 murders, or about 239 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, for a city with a population of about 1.2 million. So far in 2011, that average stands at six murders a day. Over 130 people have been killed in the city as of January 24, according to EFE.

The city is a batteground between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, although much of the violence is generated by street gangs like La Linea or the Aztecas, who sell their alliances to the warring factions. 

Projections from the Mexico-based Center for Social Investigations (CIS) state that murders in Juarez may again surpass 5,000 by the end of 2011. The Institute had previously estimated correctly that killings in the city would reach 3,000 in 2010.

The homicide rate has also spurred mass migrations from Juarez into the U.S. According to an October 2008 report by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). An estimated 230,000 people fled the city between 2008 and 2010.

On Sunday, at least five people were killed in Ciudad Juarez while playing soccer at a community center funded by the “Todos Somos Juarez” (We Are All Juarez) social program. Another five people were also killed in other parts of the city, bringing Sunday’s homicide total to 13. El Diario also reported Monday that authorities found the bodies of two women, one of whom apparently had been stoned to death. 

President Calderon insituted the Todos Somos Juarez program after gunmen stormed a birthday party in February 2010, killing 15 people. Local media saw the massacre as a case of mistaken identity, and Calderon caused an outrage in the city after commenting that those killed may have had links to drug traffickers. The $270 million Todos Somos Juarez rescue package is supposed to compliment the military offensive in Juarez, one of the most intensive in Mexico. Calderon first deployed 2,026 members of the armed forces to Chihuahua state in March 2008, followed by another deployment of 5,332 soldiers to Ciudad Juarez a year later.

The fact that murders have not reduced in Juarez, despite the massive military presence, has lead some crime analysts to argue that it is precisely the troop surge which has created surging violence.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 7 SEP 2017

While Colombia boasts its lowest homicide rate in nearly half a century, pockets of spiking violence in several rural areas…

BARRIO 18 / 18 JUL 2013

A recent spike in homicides raises concerns about the state of El Salvador's gang truce. But if the numbers are…

BRAZIL / 9 NOV 2016

Prison murders have surged 60 percent in parts of northern Brazil, a potential sign of the serious repercussions of a…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…